Japan PM to visit Toyota headquarters ahead of election, sources say
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is planning to visit Toyota Motor Corp’s headquarters as early as next week, two people familiar with the matter said, highlighting his push for higher wages ahead of next month’s upper house elections.
Toyota, Japan’s largest and most valuable company, proposed the visit to Toyota city in central Japan, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The automaker, broadly seen as a bellwether for Japan Inc, agreed to fully meet its union’s demand for annual salary and bonus hikes during annual labour talks earlier this year.
A Toyota spokesperson declined to comment on the visit.
Kishida’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is seen doing well in the election, which is expected on July 10, although households are under pressure from rising costs. Toyota’s unionised workers are viewed as supportive of the opposition.
With the visit, Kishida wants to emphasise his appeal to companies to raise wages, Japanese media said. Decades of deflation have meant that for most workers in the world’s third-largest economy pay has barely budged for years.
The visit will include a tour of a plant, the Asahi newspaper reported.
(Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto; Writing by Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by David Dolan and Edwina Gibbs)