Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday asked firms to raise wages at a faster pace than this year, as the world's third-largest economy is at a crossroads in completely emerging from deflation.

"I'd like to seek your cooperation in realizing pay hikes that will exceed this year's," Kishida told a meeting organized by Japan's most powerful business lobby, known as Keidanren. He did not give a numerical target.

Kishida also underscored the need to support people's disposable incomes, with a scheduled tax cut to be implemented next year.