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Japan labor body to seek hike in minimum hourly wage next year

Japan's largest labor organization is set to seek a hike in the average hourly minimum wage at annual negotiations with employers next year in a bid to narrow wage gaps, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, known as Rengo, will demand a minimum hourly wage of at least 1,100 yen per hour, compared with the current nationwide average of 901 yen.
It is the first time Rengo has set a numerical goal for a minimum hourly wage in the annual talks, which are slated to begin around February. Its executive committee will approve the policy on Thursday, the sources said.
Rengo will also demand at least a 2 percent pay-scale rise for all industries for the fifth straight year, in addition to regular wage hikes based on seniority, said the sources.
In this year's negotiations, Rengo agreed to a 2.07 percent rise in the pay scale plus regular wages.
A wage disparity, seen between regular and nonregular workers, and also between small and large firms, has prompted people to leave rural areas in search of jobs in urban centers, leading to a contraction in local economies.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says it aims to address regional gaps in the minimum wage and achieve an average hourly pay of 1,000 yen.


© KYODO
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