Average hourly minimum wage to rise 17 yen to 730 yen

The nation’s weighted-average hourly minimum wage will rise by 17 yen from the previous year to 730 yen in the current fiscal year that started in April, the largest increase since fiscal 2002 when such wages were first calculated by the hour, the labor ministry said Friday.

The Central Minimum Wages Council, a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry advisory panel, recommended last month that the hourly wage be raised by between 10 and 30 yen. Local panels in 42 of the 47 prefectures in the country have since added between 1 and 6 yen to the council’s recommendations for their prefectures.

The minimum wage will be revised beginning in early October.

The lowest hourly minimum wage in the country will be 642 yen. Tottori, Shimane, Kochi and Kagoshima prefectures will join Saga, Nagasaki, Miyazaki and Okinawa, where the lowest-level minimum wages have prevailed since the revisions in fiscal 2009.