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Japan lobby agrees to raise base pay in '14: media

TOKYO -- Japan's most influential business lobby has agreed to raise workers' base pay for the first time in six years as the economy gains momentum and corporate earnings improve, the Asahi newspaper reported on Sunday.

Many economists say an increase in base pay is essential to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pledge to end 15 years of mild deflation and to help the Bank of Japan meet its 2-percent inflation target.

The Keidanren business lobby will encourage its member companies to raise base pay next year in annual spring wage negotiations, the Asahi reported, citing a draft of the business lobby's negotiations strategy.

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