Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda on Thursday applied fresh pressure on companies to do their part in putting a sustained end to deflation by boosting wages and investment.

But the head of the nation's biggest business lobby offered only conditional support, underscoring the difficulty policymakers face in convincing risk-shy Japanese companies to divert more of their record profits to innovation and human resources.

At an annual meeting of the business lobby Keidanren, Abe voiced hope that companies raise wages next year at a faster pace than this year, saying that boosting salaries and capital expenditure was critical for Japan to exit deflation.