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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 December 18 - 24  > Youth march for minimum wage hike to 1,500 yen across Japan
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2019 December 18 - 24 [LABOR]

Youth march for minimum wage hike to 1,500 yen across Japan

December 23, 2019
Braving the cold rain, chants of “Raise minimum hourly wage to 1,500 yen!” made by young marchers in rhythm to music from a leading pickup truck resounded on December 22 through busy streets of Tokyo’s Shibuya filled with Christmas shoppers and festivities.

This action was called for by a youth group working on labor issues, AEQUITAS.

One of the marchers, a 23-year-old female senior at a private university in Tokyo, works part-time as a cleaner at a Tokyo government-run facility to cover her tuition. She said, “Although I work for 1,013 yen an hour, which is equivalent to Tokyo’s minimum wage, I’m struggling to pay tuition fees.”

Another marcher, a 24-year-old woman works full-time at a clinic as a medical office assistant. The woman, whose monthly take-home pay amounting to 160,000 yen, said, “After paying my rent (60,000 yen) and making my student loan payment (20,000 yen), there is little leeway to spend on daily necessities.”

Using a microphone from the leading pickup truck, AEQUITAS member Kobayashi Shun’ichiro referred to a survey on the minimum cost of living conducted by the Tokyo Regional Council of Trade Unions (Tokyo Chihyo) and pointed out that the Tokyo Chihyo survey results indicate that young adults living alone in Tokyo need to earn at least 1,664 yen an hour as a living wage to cover basic needs.

He stressed that the results of another nationwide cost-of-living survey also show that no matter which prefecture they live in, people need to earn an amount of living wage comparable to Tokyo’s. He said that regional minimum wages should be increased to more than 1,500 yen across Japan.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Yamazoe Taku participated in the march calling for a minimum wage hike.

Past related article:
> Minimum wage hike to 1,500 yen across country necessary to cover basic daily needs: labor union survey [June 7, 2019]
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