Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently pledged to promote an “equal pay for equal work” policy intended to raise the wages and increase the benefits of non-regular workers in Japan. According to a 2014 study, temporary and non-regular workers make up roughly 37.4 percent of Japan’s population, almost double the 19.1 percent surveyed in 1989.
Despite the possible benefits of his suggested plan, Abe did not go into further detail disclosing how he intends to promote this policy. Critics suggest that this proposed political shift is only an attempt to bolster voter support in light of the Upper House elections this summer.
For the remainder of his policy speech, Abe touched on other economic issues and those surrounding international affairs. He conveyed his desire to improve relations with Russia and applauded his efforts for resolving the long-withstanding tensions between Japan and South Korea’s “comfort women.” As of last month, Japan has set up a ¥1 billion fund in order to compensate the affected women and their families. Furthermore, Abe said that he also looks forward to the economic opportunities China’s success will bring “not only for Japan but for the rest of the world.” He concluded his address by briefly speaking about his well-known ambition to revise Japan’s Constitution by saying the Diet members should discuss the issues present “without running away from them.”