MINIMUM AND AVERAGE SALARY IN JAPAN

Living standards and worker incomes in prosperous Asian countries are now substantially higher than in many developed European Union member states. Japan is one such example. For three decades, the Land of the Rising Sun has shown unprecedented economic growth and even despite a significant slowdown since the early 1990s, wages in Japan are still among the highest in the world.

Salary in Japan

The successful development of the Japanese economy has become possible not only due to the competent actions of the local government, which has created comfortable conditions for attracting investment and the functioning of business in Japan. The real pride of the country is its highly skilled and productive labour force. It is a well-known fact that Japanese citizens work very hard and often this labour is well paid. Next, let's find out what is the minimum and average salary in Japan in 2024.

Minimum salary in Japan

According to official data from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), the national minimum wage in Japan in 2024 is 1,002 yen per hour ($6). This is a weighted average figure, as individual regions of the country are authorised to set their own rates. In addition, minimum wage levels vary by industry.

Note. For the first time in history, the average minimum wage in Japan exceeded 1,000 yen. Compared to last year, the rate increased by 41 yen (961 yen in 2023).

In 47 prefectures of Japan, the minimum wage ranges from 790-1,113 yen per hour ($5-7). The highest rates are recorded in Tokyo (1,113 yen), Kanagawa (1,112) and Osaka (1,064), and the lowest at 790 yen in Tottori Prefecture. Based on a standard 40-hour working week, the minimum wage in Japan in 2024 is 173,680 yen per month, equivalent to 1,125 American dollars.

MINIMUM WAGE IN JAPAN BY PREFECTURE

Prefecture Wage (yen per hour)
Tokyo 1,113
Kanagawa 1,112
Osaka 1,064
Saitama 1,028
Aichi 1,027
Chiba 1,026
Kyoto 1,008
Hyogo 1,001
Shizuoka 984
Shiga 976

Important. The table above shows the 10 prefectures with the highest minimum wages in Japan in 2024.

Overtime work in Japan, i.e. work performed in hours in excess of standard working hours, must be compensated with additional pay determined at a minimum of 25 per cent of regular earnings. A similar supplement applies to night work. And work on weekends and public holidays is paid at 35 per cent of the standard wage.

Average salary in Japan

Japan's economy is centred on high technology, innovation and a strong financial sector. The country produces high-quality cars and high-precision electronic equipment, which is in great demand all over the world. Not only people from poorer regions of Asia, but also applicants from well-to-do Western countries dream of working in Japan. One of the main reasons is a decent salary.

HIGHEST PAID PROFESSIONS IN JAPAN

No. Profession
1 Recruitment director
2 Software engineer
3 Sales director
4 Marketing manager
5 Risk analyst
6 Engineer
7 Research scientist
8 Airline pilot
9 Investment banker
10 Data scientist
11 Neurosurgeon
12 Lawyer

According to the local MHLW, the official average salaries of Japanese workers vary markedly from month to month throughout the year. For example, while in December 2023 the nominal salary (including bonuses) was 713,000 yen ($4,610), in January 2024 this figure was already estimated at 320,657 yen ($2,075). In addition, in Japan there is such a thing as a base salary, which today is ¥246,563 ($1,595). Such factors should be taken into account when determining the real wage.

Important. The average salary in Japan in 2024 is 315 thousand yen per month. In terms of American currency comes out 2 thousand dollars, and in Russian rubles – 180 thousand. After paying taxes, about 255 thousand yen (1.6 thousand dollars/145.5 thousand rubles) remains at the disposal of the employee.

SALARY IN JAPAN BY OCCUPATION

Profession Yen per year Dollars per year
Pilot 17,121,000 109,695
Doctor 11,540,000 73,935
University lecturer 10,737,000 68,790
Lawyer 10,359,000 66,370
Journalist 8,137,000 52,135
Dentist 7,343,000 47,045
Accountant 7,163,000 45,895
Teacher 7,064,000 45,260
Architect 6,375,000 40,845
Engineer 5,412,000 34,675
Pharmacist 5,312,000 34,035
Stewardess 4,780,000 30,625
Certified Nurse 4,730,000 30,305
Programmer 4,256,000 27,270
Salesperson 3,221,000 20,635
Social worker 3,093,000 19,815
Driver 3,081,000 19,740
Janitor 2,903,000 18,600
Waiter 2,780,000 17,810
Cashier 2,493,000 15,970

Note. Data from Japan's National Tax Agency shows that in 2024, the median salary in Japan will be 4.58 million yen per year ($29,345). At the same time, the median salary will approach 3.6 million yen ($23,065).

SALARY IN JAPAN BY SECTOR OF ECONOMY

Sector of economy Average salary (million yen per year) Median salary (million yen per year)
Electricity/Heat/Water 7.47 5.16
Finance/Insurance 6.56 4.3
Information/Communication 6.32 4.39
Academic education 5.44 3.81
Manufacturing 5.33 3.67
Construction 5.29 3.98
Transport 4.77 3.68
Real estate 4.57 3.47
Medical/Social security 4.09 3.04
Wholesale trade 3.84 2.85
Other services 3.77 3.22
Agriculture/Forestry 3.37 2.57
Accommodation/Nutrition 2.68 2.16

Note. Information on average wages in Japan by economic sector is based on current data from the Japanese MHLW.

WAGES IN JAPAN BY CITY

City Yen per month Dollars per month
Tokyo 574,000 3,675
Yokohama 564,000 3,615
Osaka 555,000 3,555
Nagoya 545,000 3,490
Fukuoka 526,000 3,370
Kyoto 505,000 3,235
Kawasaki 495,000 3,170
Saitama 486,000 3,115
Hiroshima 476,000 3,050
Okinawa 390,000 2,500

Salaries in Japan according to age and gender

In addition to economic sectors, occupation and city, the average salary in Japan is influenced by the age and gender of the worker. For example, young Japanese professionals in their 20s earn around 3,540,000 yen per year ($22,685), with men earning 3,740,000 yen ($23,965) and women earning 3,240,000 yen ($20,760).

Workers over 50 earn an average of 7,010,000 yen ($44,915) annually, with men earning 7,440,000 yen ($47,675) and women earning 4,610,000 yen ($29,540).

Many Japanese employers use a traditional seniority-based pay system. That is, the level of employees' salaries depends largely on the number of years they have worked for the company, rather than on their qualifications and skills.

As employees get older and gain more experience, they typically receive pay raises and bonuses, resulting in high annual earnings. As a result, older employees earn higher salaries than their younger counterparts. However, as workers approach retirement age, wages decline.

Income tax in Japan in 2024

Annual income (yen) Rate
Up to 1,950,000 5%
From 1,950,001 to 3,300,000 10% (minus ¥97,500)
From 3,300,001 to 6,695,000 20% (minus ¥427,500)
From 6,695,001 to 9,000,000 23% (minus ¥636,000)
From 9,000,001 to 18,000,000 33% (minus ¥1,536,000)
From 18,000,001 to 40,000,000 40% (minus ¥2,796,500)
Over 40,000,000 45% (minus ¥4,796,500)

Earlier this year, Japan's Ministry of Finance conducted a survey of about 1,100 companies nationwide, which determined that 70.7% of Japanese employers plan to raise their employees' salaries this year. In addition, the country's largest trade union group announced that Japan's largest companies have agreed to raise wages by 5.28% in 2024, which would be the largest increase in 33 years.

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