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ECONOMY

JCCI and two business federations ask for a freeze on minimum wage raise

  • April 17, 2020
  • , Asahi , p. 6
  • JMH Translation

The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), the Central Federation of Societies of Commerce and Industry, and the National Federation of Small Business Associations sent a letter to the government and the ruling parties on April 17 requesting they consider suspension of the minimum wage raise for this fiscal year. The organizations pointed out that the economy is in a “crisis,” and hiking the minimum wage would place a large burden on small and medium-size firms. The minimum wage is determined late July each year. Until last year, it had risen 3% for four consecutive years. During a press conference on the same day, Chairman Rikio Kouzu of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation counter-argued, saying that the fight against the pandemic will be a long-term endeavor and concluding, “Discussion about suspending the minimum wage raise is still premature.” He said that raising the minimum wage began as a way to address structural problems that lead to low wages for workers. He added, “This is not the kind of thing that should be deferred temporarily because there is an economic crisis.”

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