Japan’s employees have not had a increase in 30 years. Firms are beneath stress to pay up

Japan's workers haven't had a raise in 30 years. Companies are under pressure to pay up

Hong Kong/Tokyo

Hideya Tokiyoshi started his career as an English teacher in Tokyo about 30 years ago.

Since then, his salary has stayed pretty much the same. That’s why, three years ago, after giving up hopes for higher pay, the schoolteacher decided to start writing books.

“I feel lucky, as writing and selling books gives me an additional income stream. If not for that, I would’ve stayed stuck in the same wage loop,” Tokiyoshi, now 54, told CNN. “That’s why I was able to survive.”

Tokiyoshi is part of a generation of workers in Japan who have barely gotten a raise throughout their working lives. Now, as prices rise after decades of deflation,the world’s third largest economy is being forced to reckon with the major problem of falling living standards, and companies are facing intense political pressure to pay more.

Japanese Prime Minister…