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Toyota, Hitachi to raise pay

Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda

NAGOYA -- Japan's biggest carmaker and one of its top conglomerates will give workers raises or take equivalent steps for the first time in six years, possibly inspiring other domestic companies to follow suit.

     Executives at Toyota Motor and Hitachi Ltd., whose earnings have both turned sharply for the better, see higher wages as essential for beating deflation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agrees and has been leaning hard on corporate leaders to lift base pay, as opposed to bonuses, in their annual negotiations with labor this spring.

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