Kishida to boost workers’ wages, defence capability

Japan PM Fumio Kishida

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (pic) vows to ensure workers’ wage hikes to protect the economy from rising global inflation, while strengthening the country’s defences as it deals with an assertive China and unpredictable North Korea.

Kishida made the remarks on the opening day of parliament’s extra session convened to debate a supplementary budget to cushion the blow from the Covid-19 pandemic as he aims to restore the economy and then tackle fiscal reform.

Wage hikes hold the key to the premier’s aim of defeating deflation by reversing a cycle of tame wage growth and weak consumer spending while encouraging Japanese firms to spend their record cash piles on boosting wages and investment.

Since he took office in October, Kishida has piled pressure on Japanese firms, urging those whose earnings have recovered to pre-pandemic levels to raise wages by 3% or more. The government will lay the groundwork to help private-sector firms hike wages by strengthening taxation and give bold deductions for companies that raise pay, he added.

“As anxiety has grown that rising global inflation may have ripple effects on Japan, I will do the utmost to (realise) wage hikes in order to protect the Japanese economy,” Kishida said.

On security policy, Japan will fundamentally strengthen its defence posture by looking into options including acquiring the capability to strike enemy bases, Kishida said. — Reuters

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