Spring wage negotiations result in hikes averaging over 5%

Major Japanese companies have raised salaries by more than 5 percent on average in the spring wage negotiations this year. It is the first time since 1991 for the hike to top that amount.

Keidanren, or the Japan Business Federation, surveyed companies with 500 or more employees about the pay hikes, and 89 have responded so far.

The average rate of increase was 5.58 percent for the first respondents, up 1.67 percentage points from last year's three-decade high.

The survey showed that the average monthly pay rise was 19,480 yen, or about 125 dollars.

The figure topped last year's result in 15 out of 16 industries, including steel and machine-metals.

A Keidanren official said a number of companies raised wages as a measure to retain human resources, with such moves increasing from last year. The official said it is important that wage hikes become normal practice in Japan.