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Overall pay in Japan grows most in 21 years

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — Overall pay for workers in Japan in June posted the steepest growth in over 21 years in real terms, as bonuses increased on upbeat corporate earnings, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Tuesday.

The price-adjusted real wage index was up 2.8 percent year on year, rising the most since it jumped 6.2 percent in January 1997, months before a financial crisis gripped Japan.

The average pay in nominal terms increased 3.6 percent to ¥448,919, marking the biggest rise also in 21 years and five months. Special pay including bonuses surged 7 percent to ¥183,308.

A ministry official said it is necessary to keep watch on the pay situation because the timing of bonus payments can differ from year to year.

According to a Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, survey released Wednesday, the average of summer bonuses agreed by major companies shot up 8.62 percent from the previous year to ¥953,905, the highest level since the survey started in 1959.

In June, regular pay items including basic salaries expanded 1.3 percent to ¥245,918, and other items including overtime allowances went up 3.5 percent to ¥19,693, the ministry said.Speech

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