TOKYO, March 15 (Reuters) – Many Japanese companies will wrap up their annual “shunto” labour talks on Wednesday, although many have made early decisions with bullish plans, responding to government pressure to help taxpayers weather rising living costs.
Major firms are expected to raise wages by 2.85%, above last year’s 2.2% and the fastest gain since 1997, according to a survey by Japan Economic Research Center (JERC). That is just shy of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s calls for companies to offer a hike of 3% and misses an ambitious 5% demanded by labour umbrella Rengo.
Here are the plans by some of Japan’s biggest companies:
FAST RETAILING CO LTD (9983.T)
The parent of casual clothing retailer Uniqlo made headlines in January when it said it would raise wages by as much as 40%, revising remuneration across its group for the first time in at least 20 years.
From this month, starting salaries for new graduates would be 300,000 yen ($2,230) a month, up 18% from 255,000 yen previously. The company said the hikes were aimed at making its wages at home more competitive against those at its overseas operations.
TOYOTA MOTOR CORP (7203.T)
Broadly seen as a bellwether for Japan Inc, Toyota has accepted union demands in full, for the biggest base salary increase in 20 years and a rise in bonus payments. Neither the automaker or union federation, which represents 357,000 group workers, disclosed the percentage increase.
HONDA MOTOR CO , NISSAN MOTOR CO (7201.T)
Honda and Nissan, the No.2 and No.3 Japanese automakers, also agreed in full to union demands.
Honda will raise wages by a total 5%, including a 3.3% increase in monthly pay – the biggest rise since at least 1990. Nissan is offering a similar level of increase.
NINTENDO CO (7974.T)
The video game maker announced a 10% hike in base pay across the board, and a 10% increase in starting salaries.
TOSHIBA CORP (6502.T) and HITACHI LTD (6501.T)
The electronics conglomerates both agreed to raise monthly base salary by 7,000 yen, meeting union demands in full. That’s more than double the 3,000 yen increase last year and the largest hike since the current wage system was introduced.
NIPPON LIFE INSURANCE CO
The country’s biggest life insurer agreed to raise salaries of office workers by about 5.5%, the biggest jump in the last 30 years. That follows an approximately 7% pay increase announced in December for its roughly 50,000 sales staff.
The beverages maker is raising monthly salaries by about 7% on average.
($1 = 134.4300 yen)