Japanese automakers have agreed to stop squeezing their suppliers and have committed to treating smaller companies more fairly.

The age-old practice of big corporations using their bargaining power to unjustly and sometimes illegally keep a lid on the prices charged by parts makers is of special concern these days as the country seeks to boost wages at small and midsize companies.

“We take this matter very seriously,” said Masanori Katayama, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), at a news conference on Thursday.