Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday stressed his resolve to correct the wage gaps between regular and nonregular employees.
“The first pillar of the envisioned labor reforms is improving work conditions for nonregular employees, who account for 40 percent of all employees in Japan,” Abe said in Tokyo at the second round of dialogue the government held with the public to promote its campaign to create a society enabling dynamic engagement by all citizens, a new goal set by the prime minister.
“I will work hard on realizing equal pay for equal work” in order to eliminate the wage gaps, he said.
Nonregular workers include part-timers, contract workers and temp staff dispatched by personnel agencies.
The meeting was attended by young and elderly people, and nonregular workers.
A woman working part-time said: “I have to increase my income to cover child education and other costs. But once I quit my regular job, it is difficult for me to be employed again on a regular basis, due to my age and after a long interval.”
Some participants called on the government to provide support for women who return to work after childbirth and child-rearing.
In response, Abe said, “I plan to firmly take all of your opinions into account,” adding, “I hope to realize a society where all people can get chances.”
The first round of public dialogue was held Saturday in Sendai.
Such meetings are slated to be held in Osaka and Fukuoka in early March.