Annual spring wage negotiations between companies and labor unions got into full swing Wednesday with unions from Japan's major automakers demanding the same base wage increase as last year despite concerns about the industry's earnings prospects.

The unions of Toyota Motor Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., among other major automakers, requested a ¥3,000 monthly hike.

The demand comes as some of the leading automakers recently reported sluggish earnings for the nine months to December, with concern growing about U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist policy stance.