Gov't plans to discuss wage hikes with business, union reps

The government plans to set up a forum to discuss wage hikes with business and labor union representatives to help shorten the time it takes for the fruits of its economic policies to be felt by workers, the minister in charge said Sunday.

Economic revitalization minister Akira Amari said in an NHK talk show that he is coordinating with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the matter as the policies dubbed "Abenomics" have buoyed stock prices and driven the yen sharply lower but have yet to improve wage levels.

Abe is expected to include the plan in a set of growth strategies he is due to deliver in June, following the first two packages released in April and on Friday, which will center on the promotion of private finance initiative projects, Amari suggested.

"I hope it will be a forum for consensus-building where we can frankly discuss the problems faced by the business side," he told reporters after the TV show.