In a boost for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policy mix, major domestic companies notified their labor unions Wednesday they will raise pay scales to conclude this year's spring wage talks.

Attention will now shift to boosting wages for other workers, including those at smaller firms and across regions, as criticism grows that "Abenomics" has largely benefited employees of big exporters in large cities.

Abe, desperate to boost an economy squeezed by last April's consumption tax hike, had requested companies boost wages.