Japan's labour shortage is nearing crisis in some key industries as it spreads from construction to services, curbing companies' operations, pushing up wages and potentially crimping a tentative recovery in the world's third-largest economy.

Airlines, retailers, truckers and restaurant chains are being forced to rethink expansion plans and, in extreme cases, shut up shop because they cannot fill jobs at any wage.

Peach Aviation Ltd, a joint venture backed by Japan's largest airline, ANA Holdings, said last month it would cancel more than 2,000 flights this year, 16 percent of its planned total. Budget carriers Jetstar Japan and Vanilla Air have also canceled hundreds of flights this summer, a government report on pilot shortages showed.