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How do you go about asking for a raise in Japan?

Amelia Watson Amelia Watson (0) on 24/04/15

First of all, it seems to me that no one asks for raises in Japan. They wait for a promotion, but that also usually comes automatically based on age, right? It doesn't seem to be based on merit, only seniority.

But, let's say I wanted to talk to my boss about getting a slightly better salary after six months of working in the company, would this be considered rude? Would it damage my reputation or standing with the management?


I think you got it right - asking for a raise is something we don't do. We work hard, hope, and wait for the next spring (usually you get an annual raise in April). If you're working in a big company and a member of union, you can talk to them. A typical company would consider your raise annually with a job evaluation - so it's OK to ask how you are contributing and becoming valuable to them at the evaluation counselling. From my experience - I once asked how I was doing from their point of view and if I deserved a raise, I got just a nod and a smile at the table, didn't get any raise (just got an annual raise, same as everybody), but the relationship with my bosses didn't get awkward. But I left Japan 10 years ago; I'm not up to speed of the rapid change of the decade!



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