With inflation leading to soaring prices, effective government intervention is crucial to solving people’s hardships. Recent reports suggest that Japan may be able to teach the world a lesson in this regard. Japan’s economy has maintained a mild deflationary state for decades and overall prices have been relatively stable. However, this year, the island nation has rarely ushered in 2% inflation against the backdrop of rising prices around the world. While Japan’s price hikes are nothing compared to many other countries, unchanged wages are making life more stressful for consumers caught off guard by inflation. Fortunately, the Japanese government has introduced some effective measures against the wage issue, which have improved the lives of ordinary Japanese people. This article will briefly explore the topic of rising income in Japan recently.
Increasing Minimum Wages
Japan’s Central Minimum Wage Council recently issued a new policy, which is to raise the minimum wage standard across Japan by ¥30 per hour. This is the largest minimum wage increase ever issued by the Japanese government. Rising domestic prices stimulated this policy in Japan due to the sluggish yen and the Russian-Ukrainian war. The policy ensures the rights and purchasing power of ordinary Japanese workers.
Senior officials of the Japanese government have also attached great importance to basic wages and livelihood issues. In an interview with reporters, Deputy chief cabinet secretary Seiji Kihara said that raising the minimum wage is an investment in the people and he hopes that the rising trend of basic wages can keep up with the development of new capitalism.
Rising Total Income in Japan
In addition to setting requirements for basic wages, the Japanese government not long ago encouraged Japan’s major companies to raise workers’ wages on the premise of rising prices. In fact, the government wants companies to raise wages to the same extent as prices rise. This major move came with the support of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s economic policy. In fact, it was he who promised to bring New Capitalism to voters, which requires “a virtuous cycle of growth and redistribution driven by investment into people,” according to Japan Times.
Many Japanese companies have followed suit, including major car companies such as Toyota and Hitachi. They heeded the government’s call, even though their business was hurt by soaring oil and wheat prices as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war. In February 2022, Labor unions of major electronics and car manufacturing industries planned to raise workers’ wages by around ¥3,000.
The rising income in Japan during hyperinflation is the result of the government’s efforts to ensure a virtuous circle of the economy, as well as maintain the normal living standards and purchasing power of the people. Although the world economy in 2022 could cause difficulties for many countries, the Japanese government’s practical actions tell us that every government may have a role in caring for the needs of the people.
– Ella Li