After years of sluggish growth, are wage hikes finally gaining steam in Japan?

For years, sluggish wage growth has been one of the major stumbling blocks in reviving Japan’s economy. But this year’s spring wage negotiations known as shuntō appears to be different with a number of major firms giving the green light for substantial hikes.

As historically high inflation and a serious labor crunch pose risks to Japan’s economy, big-name businesses have been more inclined to raise wages. But whether or not this trend spreads to smaller firms is being closely watched.

In its first negotiation session on Feb. 22, Japan’s leading automaker Toyota already told its labor union that the firm would fully meet their demands.

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