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Japan's small businesses unable to support Abe's wage strategy

Economists say that is because many SMEs are unprofitable "zombies" kept alive by cheap financing

The government estimates a 3 per cent minimum wage hike could add 70-90 billion yen to wages, but that is at best only a 0.04 per cent boost to Japan's total wage bill of around 210 trillion yen.


JAPAN'S government hopes that raising the minimum wage will "trickle up" into a broader rise in pay and consumption, but the smaller businesses that account for most Japanese jobs are in no shape to square that virtuous circle.

Since taking office in late 2012, Prime Minister