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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged companies to increase wages faster than gains in the cost of living to break the legacy of 15 years of deflation, and praised Toyota Motor Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. for pledging to help.

“What we want is for wages to rise more than prices,” Abe said in an interview in the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo. “We want to enter a virtuous cycle as quickly as possible,” where economic growth propels corporate profits, employers raise compensation and workers spend more, he said.

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