Real wages are down in Japan from 1 year earlier by 4.1% under Kishida
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
Real wages in Japan declined by 4.1% in January from 12 months earlier when adjusted for inflation. This comes at a time when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is doubling the military budget – despite the horrendous mountain of debt – and when continuously supporting Ukraine.
The latest contraction of 4.1% sums up how people are becoming poorer under successive Liberal Democratic Party(LDP) governments. Especially when you include recent hikes in the consumption tax in the last decade. Therefore, inflationary problems in early 2023 are furthering the sense of hopelessness for tens of millions of people in Japan who are invisible to Kishida and the ruling LDP.
Kishida’s “new capitalism” is fresh air. Instead, it is the tenth month on the bounce of a decrease in real wages when inflation is adjusted.
Lee Jay Walker says, “The poorest in society are suffering. This includes part-time workers, the working poor, and people on temporary contracts. After all, unlike some companies at the top who increased wages to cover for inflation, the people at the bottom of the economic ladder aren’t afforded the same luxury.”
Kyodo News reports, “Japan’s fiscal health is the worst among major developed nations, with debt more than twice the size of its economy, the world’s third-largest.”
Japan’s average wages now rank 24th out of the 35 leading nations according to the OECD (2021) report. Alarmingly, Japan is now 20% below the OECD average wage.
In 2020, the hourly minimum wage in US dollar terms was (World Population Review) 14.54 (Australia), 11.46 (France), 11.37 (United Kingdom), 11.21 (Netherlands), 10.68 (Germany), 10.33 (Canada), 8.99 (South Korea), 8.17 (Israel), and 7.52 (Japan).
Despite this, Kishida announced more economic support for Ukraine. He uttered, “We have decided to provide additional financial support of $5.5 billion” to Ukraine.
The Nikkei reports that Japan’s government debt is a staggering 262.5%. In Germany, its debt is 69.6%. Accordingly, the debt ratio of each person in Japan is a massive $68,500 (10 million yen) per person.
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