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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 September 5 - 11  > PM Abe misleading public with his boasts
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2018 September 5 - 11 [POLITICS]

PM Abe misleading public with his boasts

September 5, 2018
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is boasting that his government has succeeded in improving people's income over the past five and half years. In reality, however, people's livelihoods have become more and more severe under his regime.

His recent major claims: more than three-fourth of large companies whose board members are Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) executives have raised the annual income of their workers by 3%; the wage hike rate in small- and midsized enterprises hit a record-high for the first time in the last two decades according to a Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) survey; and Japan's gross national income (GNI) has increased by more than 65 trillion yen in about five years.

The truth, however, can be observed in statistics which PM Abe never dares to refer to: the Labor Ministry's labor surveys show that real wages in 2016 were less than that in the previous year, and household spending has been declining for the last four consecutive years according to the Statistics Agency's family expenditure surveys.

What PM Abe is doing is using unverifiable figures picked and chosen from the data he selects.

He picked up the pay hike achievement in only a handful of supergiant companies as if the wage increase is the overall trend in Japan. Regarding the wage hike rate, he used Rengo's wage negotiation results of 2018. The same data indicates that the average wage increase in companies including big businesses was 2.07%, falling short of the government's numerical target of 3%. GNI, in the first place, includes not only individual income but also corporate profits, so an increase in GNI does not automatically mean that people's lives become richer.

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