Most big Japanese firms heed prime minister’s call to raise wages this year

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By Rocky Swift TOKYO (Reuters) – More than half of big Japanese companies are planning to raise wages this year, according to a Reuters monthly poll, meeting a key request from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to help workers cope with surging consumer prices. Kishida’s administration has repeatedly urged companies to make maximum efforts to lift employee pay, which has failed to keep up with the fastest inflation in 40 years. That push was boosted last week when Uniqlo operator Fast Retailing Co said it would raise wages by as much as 40%. Ahead of spring “shunto” labour negotiations, managers at…

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