Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 August 3 - 9  > Labor Ministry panel’s minimum wage hike proposal insufficient to ease price surge-caused hardship
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2022 August 3 - 9 [LABOR]

Labor Ministry panel’s minimum wage hike proposal insufficient to ease price surge-caused hardship

August 3, 2022

The Labor Ministry’s Central Council on Minimum Wage on August 2 made a recommendation for an increase in regional minimum wages to 961 yen per hour on average, which fails to ease the serious negative impacts of the ongoing price surge while widening regional gaps.

In Japan, the minimum hourly wage is determined in each prefecture by the regional Minimum Wage Council based on the Central Council’s recommendation.

In the recommendation, the Central Council proposed a 31-yen increase in the regional minimum hourly wage in 17 prefectures, including Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, and a 30-yen hike in the remaining 30 prefectures, such as Hokkaido, Kochi, and Okinawa. With this proposal, if carried out, regional minimum wages in Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Osaka will surpass 1,000 yen an hour. The gap between the highest minimum wage (1,072 yen in Tokyo) and the lowest (850 yen in Kochi and Okinawa) increased to 222 yen from the current 221 yen.

The Secretary General of the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren), Kurosawa Koichi, on August 2 issued a statement criticizing the Labor Ministry panel’s recommendation as totally insufficient to help workers survive the rising cost of living.

In addition, Kurosawa noted that under the Central Council’s proposal, regional minimum wages in 40 prefectures will fall below the national average of 961 yen. He said that such a proposal is inappropriate in the context of the government policy of raising the national average minimum hourly wage to 1,000 yen by 2020.

Furthermore, Kurosawa stressed that it is unacceptable for the Central Council to make a recommendation which widens regional gaps. He said that seeking to eliminate regional minimum wage gaps, Zenroren will work hard to push regional councils to decide on an amount higher than that of the Central Council’s recommendation and to establish a nationwide, across-the-board minimum wage system.

On the same day, another national trade union center, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) also issued a statement pointing out that the amount of the minimum wage recommended by the Central Council is far below a “living wage” level. Rengo in its statement expressed its determination to make utmost efforts to narrow regional gaps.
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved