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Amid inflation's increasing impact on consumers, a labor ministry panel proposed a record hike of ¥31 for the nation's average hourly minimum wage on Monday.

The proposal follows tough talks between management and labor representatives on the panel, with both sides struggling to reach an agreement. Both were in agreement that a pay raise was essential in light of a wave of price hikes, but they were divided on how much it should be raised and failed to come to a conclusion even after more than eight hours of discussions in a meeting last week.

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