The Minimum Wage in Kanagawa

The Minimum Wage in Kanagawa


Japanese Culture & Customs



How much is the minimum wage in Kanagawa Prefecture?


As of 1 October 2020, the minimum wage in Kanagawa Prefecture is 1,012 yen per hour. There are two kinds of minimum wage in Japan: regional minimum wage and industry-specific minimum wage. The regional minimum wage is set for each of Japan’s 47 prefectures and applies to all workers in a specific prefecture regardless of age, nationality, or contract type. The industry-specific minimum wage applies to all core workers in a specific industry.


The Kanagawa Labor Bureau defines seven different industries for the industry-specific minimum wage. However, the industry-specific minimum wage was not revised for the year 2020, so the regional minimum wage now applies to all industry types in Kanagawa Prefecture.


The minimum wage in Kanagawa was increased by 0.1% or 1 yen from the previous minimum of 1,011 yen per hour set in 1 October 2019. While this may seem like a small increase, when compared to the minimum wage of 140 yen per hour set in 1 October 1972, there has been an increase of 872 yen or 622% over the past 48 years.

Data source: Kanagawa Labor Bureau



Progression of the Minimum Wage in Kanagawa Prefecture


Looking at the progression of the Kanagawa minimum wage for the past 5 years, from the 930 yen per hour set in 1 October 2016, it was raised to 956 yen in 1 October 2017 (2.80% increase), 983 yen in 1 October 2018 (2.82% increase), 1,011 yen in 1 October 2019 (2.85% increase), and finally to 1,012 yen in 1 October 2020 (0.10% increase).


While the latest increase to the current minimum wage was a mere 0.10%, the rate of increase was generally around 2.8% for the 4-year period from 2016 to 2019, indicating a robust economy in Kanagawa Prefecture (although still a far cry from the highs during Japan’s bubble economy and the post-war economic boom).



Kanagawa Prefecture Minimum Wage Compared to Other Prefectures


The minimum wage in Kanagawa is the second highest among all 47 prefectures, behind only Tokyo. The minimum wage in Tokyo set in 1 October 2020 is 1,013 yen per hour, just 1 yen higher than that in Kanagawa. Tokyo and Kanagawa are currently the only prefectures with an hourly minimum wage over 1,000 yen.


According to data from the Statistics Bureau of Japan, the average monthly rent in Kanagawa Prefecture is 68,100 yen, while the average is 81,001 yen in Tokyo. Although the minimum wage is nearly equal in Tokyo and Kanagawa, rent is much cheaper in Kanagawa on average. This makes Kanagawa Prefecture an attractive place to live in.


The number of foreign laborers in Kanagawa Prefecture is 94,489 (an increase of 2,908 laborers or 3.2% from the previous year). By nationality, the top 3 are Chinese with 24,804 laborers (26.3% of the total), followed by Vietnamese with 18,243 laborers (19.3%) and Filipinos with 12,276 laborers (13.0%). In terms of status of residence, around 40% of foreign laborers hold a visa based on personal status or position (e.g. permanent resident, spouse of Japanese national etc.).


Among the foreign laborers working in Kanagawa Prefecture, 26.9% are in the manufacturing industry. According to data from the Kanagawa Labor Bureau, a large number of foreign laborers work in factories producing food products. Foreign laborers in construction, wholesale, retail, medical services, and welfare services are also increasing yearly. The large majority of foreign laborers work for companies or organizations with fewer than 30 employees.


Data source: Statistics Bureau of Japan, Kanagawa Labor Bureau



How to check if your salary meets the minimum wage


If you are working in Kanagawa Prefecture and you earn a daily or monthly salary, you can do the following to convert it to an hourly wage and check if it meets the minimum wage.


For daily wages:

Daily wage ÷ Working hours per day = Hourly wage


For example, if you have a daily wage of 10,000 yen and you work 8 hours a day:

10,000 yen ÷ 8 hours = 1,250 yen per hour

Since the minimum wage in Kanagawa is 1,012 yen per hour, this salary meets the minimum wage.


For monthly wages:

Monthly wage ÷ Working hours per month = Hourly wage


For example, if you have a monthly wage of 180,000 yen and you work 160 hours a month:

180,000 yen ÷ 160 hours = 1,125 yen per hour

Since the minimum wage in Kanagawa is 1,012 yen per hour, this salary meets the minimum wage.


If you are paid on a piece-rate basis, divide the total wage earned by the number of hours worked to compare with the hourly minimum wage.


For example, if your salary is 20,000 yen and you worked 25 hours:

20,000 yen ÷ 25 hours = 800 yen per hour

Since the minimum wage in Kanagawa is 1,012 yen per hour, this salary does not meet the minimum wage.


Employers are required by law to pay their workers at least the minimum wage. Employers who fail to do so face a fine of 500,000 yen or less (Minimum Wage Act, Act No. 137 of 15 April 1959). For details, contact the Kanagawa Labor Bureau (TEL 045-211-7350). The Kanagawa Labor Bureau has a Foreign Worker Consultation Corner that offers services in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Tagalog.


Source: Kanagawa Labor Bureau, Foreign Worker Consultation Corner

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