Japan business lobby shrugs off calls for uniform wage hikes

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High-rise buildings are seen at the Shinjuku business district during sunset in Tokyo

TOKYO – The head of Japan’s biggest business lobby said on Tuesday that companies must determine wages depending on their own situation rather than in a uniform manner as a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has caused corporate profit to become uneven among sectors.

Masakazu Tokura, chairman of the Keidanren lobby, was speaking at the labour-management forum that kicked off annual spring wage negotiations, due to be wrapped up in March.

The annual talks will be a key gauge of whether Prime Minister Fumio Kishida can achieve his pledge to stoke a virtuous cycle of wage growth, higher household income and stronger economic recovery.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Christopher Cushing)