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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 19 - 25  > Minimum hourly wage of 1,500 yen should become major focal point in Upper House election: Zenroren
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2019 June 19 - 25 TOP3 [LABOR]

Minimum hourly wage of 1,500 yen should become major focal point in Upper House election: Zenroren

June 25, 2019

The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) on June 24 at a press conference in the Labor Ministry office building published the findings of a survey on the cost of living which indicates that regardless of the region people live in, they need a minimum hourly wage of 1,500 yen to cover their basic needs in daily living.

Pointing out that the ministry council will soon begin a discussion on this year’s minimum wage review process, Zenroren expressed its determination to work to have its findings utilized in the council’s discussions. It also said that the issues of a minimum wage hike to 1,500 yen and a law revision for introducing a nationwide, uniform minimum wage system should be a major focal point in the upcoming Upper House election.

The survey was conducted in Yamaguchi, Kyoto, and Kagoshima cities. According to the survey results, 25-year-old men living alone in Yamaguchi City need to earn 1,612 yen an hour to meet the minimum cost of living. In Kyoto and Kagoshima, the amount required was 1,639 yen and 1,584 yen, respectively.

At the press conference, Zenroren Secretary General Nomura Yukihiro stated, “A higher minimum wage may give young people the motivation to find a job in their hometowns, resulting in a favorable effect on local economies.” Nomura said that in order to achieve this, it is necessary for the government to encourage small- and medium-sized businesses to accept a minimum wage hike with the use of various measures including imposing fair trade practices on big businesses and promoting the creation of a public contract ordinance which guarantees decent wages for workers working for public works contractors. Furthermore, as a measure to directly support SMEs, the Zenroren secretary general cited a French government measure to ease smaller business owners’ social security burdens.

Nakazawa Shuichi, an associate professor at University of Shizuoka Junior College, supervised the Zenroren survey. He argued, “As owing a private car is essential for people living in regional cities and towns, car maintenance costs eat up a larger portion of the monthly household budget than housing costs. Given this, a monthly income of 220,000 yen-240,000 yen is necessary as a living wage in any city.” He stressed that a minimum wage should be determined based on living costs.

Past related articles:
> Minimum wage hike to 1,500 yen across country necessary to cover basic daily needs: labor union survey [June 7, 2019]
> Zenroren calls for creating nationwide uniform minimum wage system by 2020 [July 27&29, 2018]
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