Abe, business heads, labor unions agree on efforts for wage growth

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration crafted a joint statement Tuesday with leaders of business organizations and labor unions, aiming to bolster the economy through wage growth.

At a trilateral meeting, Abe also urged large manufacturers, which have benefited from the yen’s slide, to trade with their subcontracting companies at higher prices to allow the effects of his “Abenomics” policy mix to trickle down to smaller firms and local economies.

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Toyota labor unions to demand minimum ¥6,000 pay hike

NAGOYA – The federation of labor unions at Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it plans to make a unified demand for a pay-scale hike of at least ¥6,000 per month during the spring wage talks this year.It will be the Federation of All Toyota Workers’ Union’s biggest request since 2002, when comparable figures were first kept.

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Tozen Vlog for May 18, 2014

Japan’s ratio of education spending to GDP lowest among OECD nations

Japan’s expenditure on education as a percentage of gross domestic product in 2008 remained the lowest among 31 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development…[and] pointed out that “other factors that influence the quality of education need to be taken into account,” such as improving teachers’ salaries and working conditions in Japan.

Scant legal justification for unpaid overtime

In principle, a work week is supposed to total 40 hours, divided into eight hours per day. Any work beyond this limit is only possible with prior agreement between the employer and employees, and is subject to overtime payment. If overtime work is done with the understanding of the employer but without an explicit request, the employee can still file a request for unpaid overtime wages.