One of Japan’s biggest unions plans to push for pay gains above 6% in a bid to kick-start a virtuous wage-price cycle that would enable the Bank of Japan to raise interest rates and strengthen the yen.

"The yen’s depreciation has gone too far, and I would like to see the BOJ take some policy steps to correct the situation,” said Akihiko Matsuura, president of UA Zensen, a labor union consisting of over 1.8 million members from sectors such as retail and restaurants. "I think we have to raise wages enough for the BOJ to be able to make a decision on that.”

Matsuura’s comments come as Japanese union leaders step up pressure on companies to boost pay during annual wage talks. BOJ Gov. Kazuo Ueda is looking for signs that wage increases, including at smaller firms, will spur demand-led price gains, allowing Japan to exit from the world’s last negative rate regime.