Business leaders show signs of accepting Abe's call for wage hikes
(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TOKYO, Oct. 17 -- (Kyodo) _ Managers at leading Japanese companies including Toyota Motor Corp. indicated Thursday they could raise salaries for workers, as sought by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The government of Abe, who wants cooperation from the private sector in fighting the country's chronic deflation, held a session of its panel discussing measures to revitalize the economy along with business leaders and representatives from labor unions.
"If we record better earnings, then it's natural we pay taxes and give back (some of the profits) to employees," Toyota President Akio Toyoda told reporters after the meeting at the prime minister's office.
Hiromasa Yonekura, another participant who heads the nation's biggest business lobby Keidanren, said, "We'll seize on improved earnings to increase capital spending and raise salaries."
Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Hitachi Ltd., told reporters the electronics manufacturer is eyeing a "base pay rise as one of the important options" and will discuss it at the next management-labor negotiations in spring.
Abe has been asking companies to increase wages for workers as his government plans to implement steps to support businesses such as tax breaks and deregulation for further investment. He also appears to be using the potential wage hikes to ease possible negative impact on the economy from the planned sales tax hike.
Earlier this month, Abe decided to raise the consumption tax rate to 8 percent from the current 5 percent in April, while announcing the government will compile a stimulus package to underpin business and household spending that could be weakened by the higher levy.
The government "will make all-out efforts" to beat deflation, Abe said at the meeting, also joined by his economic ministers. "I want to ask business and labor circles to implement what can be done."
Economy and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari welcomed the corporate sector's growing eagerness to carry out wage increases.
"The real economy has certainly been recovering, and the government has taken concrete measures to create an environment (where companies can improve their earnings)," he said at a press conference following the meeting.
"Many companies have become aware they have to respond" to the government's efforts by paying higher wages to their employees, he added.
(c) 2013 Kyodo News International, Inc.
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]