Many workers in Okinawa labor under minimum wage
According to information of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and Okinawa Prefecture Bureau of Labor, 5.2% of workers in the prefecture were paid less than the minimum wage set by the government. The rate is the highest in Japan, and has been higher than the national average for four consecutive years since 2012.
The situation improved somewhat in the following year as 2.9% were paid less than the minimum in 2016 that placed Okinawa in the 6th worst place in the nation.
Ministry officials say that there are many companies that rely on workers who work for less than the minimum wage, and it’s urgent to make companies abide by the law.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare conducts an annual survey around June or July of about 100,000 small businesses through local Labor Bureaus to calculate the rate. The survey covers businesses with less than 30 workers including part-timers, or less than 100 workers for the manufacturing industry. The construction and transportation industries are excluded.