Why Okinawa has the lowest average wage in Japan

Why Okinawa has the lowest average wage in Japan Japan

Okinawa Prefecture is rich in nature, surrounded by beautiful seas, and is a popular tourist destination. Recently, an increasing number of people are interested in moving to Okinawa Prefecture. However, the minimum wage is the lowest in Japan, and people frequently complain that income in Okinawa is difficult. For those who live in Okinawa and those who want to move to Okinawa, it is difficult to make a living without a certain amount of income, so they are concerned about the minimum wage in Okinawa Prefecture.

In this article, we would like to explain in detail why the minimum wage in Okinawa Prefecture is said to be the lowest in Japan. If you are interested in the economic problems of Okinawa Prefecture, please refer to this article as it is a must-see.

Minimum Wages in Okinawa Prefecture

Okinawa Prefecture is considered to have a low minimum wage even by national standards. So much that every time the minimum wage is revised, it becomes a topic of discussion, and there seems to be a reason for the low minimum wage there. Therefore, in this article we would like to explain in detail why minimum wages are low in Okinawa Prefecture. Actually, how much is the minimum wage in Okinawa Prefecture?

As of 2021, the minimum wage in Okinawa Prefecture is 820 yen, and until the 2021 wage increase, the minimum wage was 792 yen, less than 800 yen.

The minimum wage is a system that defines the minimum amount of wages that employers must pay to workers. This is based on a law called the “Minimum Wage Law” and is set by the government. Minimum wages are divided into regional minimum wages and specific (industry-specific) minimum wages, and employers are penalized if they do not pay at least the minimum wage specified for their region.

The minimum wage is applicable to all workers, regardless of their employment status. Therefore, both full-time and part-time workers are treated the same. However, exceptions are made for specific (industry-specific) minimum wages, which can be found on a special website operated by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

Why Okinawa has the lowest wages in Japan

There are many small and medium-sized enterprises but no large enterprises

The first reason is that Okinawa Prefecture is characterized by many small and medium-sized enterprises and a few large enterprises. Competitors tend to enter the market, making it easy for them to imitate each other and to engage in price-fixing strategies.

Okinawa Prefecture has a small percentage of manufacturing industries

The second reason is that the percentage of manufacturing industries in Okinawa Prefecture is low. According to a study conducted by the University of Okinawa, prefectures with a high percentage of manufacturing industries also have a higher average income per capital. In particular, wages for precision machinery and other items in the manufacturing industry are high because of their high added value, and wages for people working in such factories are necessarily high. In Okinawa Prefecture, the manufacturing industry is not thriving to begin with, because of the high transportation costs involved in transporting finished products when they are manufactured in the prefecture. For these reasons, the minimum wage in Okinawa has not risen as much as expected.

Characteristics of Okinawans

Third, the unique character of the Okinawan people may be a factor. The key to a gradual increase in the minimum wage is how to add value to a business and improve it. However, it is the nature of the Okinawan people, or perhaps it is the lack of competition, capitalistic awareness, and a tendency for companies to develop their business in a logical manner that has affected their attitude toward business improvement and enhancement.