For All His Efforts, Even Kuroda Can Barely Eke Out a Pay Raise

Haruhiko Kuroda’s calls for higher wages to help pull Japan out of its “deflationary mindset” don’t apply to his own pay.

The central bank governor’s compensation for the current fiscal year has gone up just 0.4 percent, according to a statement from the BOJ on Tuesday.

While his 34.8 million yen ($295,000) is about 10 times larger than that of the average annual income in Japan, it’s still below what some of his predecessors received.

While his own raise is modest, Kuroda has been unhappy with the pace of pay gains in Japan, considering the high level of corporate profits and the low unemployment rate. For the central bank, higher wages are a key component for ensuring a virtuous cycle of price gains in the economy.

Officials at the BOJ have increasingly expressed disappointment at subdued annual wage talks, according to people familiar with the discussions.

That concern hasn’t stretched to the central bank’s board or executives, who also received only a 0.4 percent bump. The increase comes after a 1.3 percent raise last year, which was the first in nine years.

The bank was more generous with lower-level employees, whose pay was increased 1.9 percent this year after a 1.5 percent raise last year, the bank said in October. Pay had fallen or been flat for the five years before that.

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