Japan asks firms to raise salaries, investments

Tokyo, Oct 16 (IANS) The Japanese government on Friday urged business leaders in the country to expedite salary hikes and fixed capital investment to stem the negative effects of China’s slowdown on Tokyo’s economy.

The announcement was made at a public-private forum that began in Tokyo, EFE news reported.

Several government representatives stressed the need for a wage increase in the near future on the lines of the spring wage negotiations with trade unions when the largest wage increase in a decade was approved.

The private sector also highlighted the low volume of corporate investment despite good returns during the last two financial years thanks to a devaluation of the yen by the government and the Bank of Japan.

With the weakening of the export sector and production owing to a slowdown in China, Japan’s main trade partner is looking to boost growth through greater capital investment by companies and by stimulating domestic consumption.

The fragility of demand in the country is also giving rise to fears that the world’s third largest economy could fall back into recession in the July-September quarter for the second time this year following the April-June quarter.

During the forum, businessmen are also expected to ask the government to speed up approval of several regulatory reforms and new tax cuts, especially in the corporate sector, which has among the highest tax rates in the developed world.

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