The Japan Federation of Employers’ Associations (Nikkeiren) and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) failed to bridge their differences in wage talks Wednesday.

Rengo President Etsuya Washio urged Nikkeiren Chairman Jiro Nemoto to accept what he calls the “realistic and modest” demand of ensuring a 3,200 yen, or 1 percent, increase in average wages.

“We regard this year’s spring wage negotiation session as a fight to protect our livelihoods. Thus, we would like you to listen to our demands,” he was quoted as saying during the meeting.

Nemoto, however, countered by reiterating Nikkeiren’s stance of placing priority on job security rather than on individual wage increases. “Our major goal for this year is to achieve positive economic growth and improve the job situation,” he said, underlining the importance of cooperation between labor and management toward that end.

At the same time, however, he said, “If we are to choose between increasing salaries and maintaining payrolls, then, I believe we would have to pick the latter this year.”

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