Fukuda urges employers to raise workers’ wages

In a rare move, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has urged employers to raise workers’ wages as Japan’s economy continues to expand.

“Now is the time when the fruits of reform should be passed on to people as wages,” he said in his e-mail magazine delivered on Thursday.

“Japan’s economy has been growing over the past several years. Businesses, particularly major companies, are making big profits well above those during the ‘bubble economy.’ These are the results of efforts made by people who endured the pain of structural reform and worked hard,” he said.

Fukuda pointed out that companies will profit if they raise wages for workers and increase consumer spending. “I believe that business leaders also feel the necessity of wage hikes. The government has urged top business leaders to increase wages.”