Understanding the Factors for Salary Adjustments in Japan

One of the many factors which explain why hundreds of thousands of foreign workers aspire to seek for employment opportunities in Japan is because of the fact that firms and commercial establishments in the Land of the Rising Sun are known to give their employees a stable working life and good environment. These Japanese companies are also commended for providing wages and salaries that are highly commensurate with their assigned work load.


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However, after rendering service for a business establishment within a relatively long period of time, employees tend to ask for an increase in their salary in return for their loyalty to the company. Requesting for a raise in Japan does not come easy for an individual worker. Even seishains or permanent employees can not just unilaterally ask for a raise in his or her compensation.


The salary structure in Japanese firms is based not only on the type of employment but also on seniority. In recent years, an increasing number of companies have included performance-based evaluation as part of salary determination. Nonetheless, any increase or additional emoluments shall be based on the negotiation by the company union and the management through its human resources department .


Since the fiscal year of most Japanese commercial establishments commence in Spring or on April 1, it is important for the company labor group to start negotiating with the company as early as January in order for the salary adjustments to take effect by April or at the beginning of the fiscal year. In addition to that, most companies prepare their annual budget by February.


While overseas workers are more inclined to ask for salary adjustments, most Japanese opt not to ask for a raise because they believe that it would be futile as it would only give the company an impression that they are self centered. Local employees in Japan basically value a long and stable job over any additional pay. They are convinced that their respective companies will eventually compensate them in the long run.


Reference: Asking for a raise in a Japanese company


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