(Nov. 30, 2010) The Diet (Japan's Parliament) amended the laws on salaries of various categories of public servants on November 26, 2010. (For the status of bills, see House of Representatives website [in Japanese], http://www.shugiin.go.jp/itdb_gian.nsf/html/gian/kaiji176.htm (last visited Nov. 26, 2010).) These laws have been amended every year to adjust the level of public servants' salaries to the level equivalent to salaries in the private sector. The comparison is made by the National Personnel Authority (NPA), which then makes recommendations on the officials' remuneration to the Diet and the Cabinet. (NPA, NPA Recommendations (Remuneration of Public Employees), http://ssl.jinji.go.jp/en/recomme/recomme.html (last visited Nov. 26, 2010).) This year, the recommendations and the amendment of the laws are noteworthy because public servants in certain age groups were targeted for adjustments in salary.
The number of older, highly paid bureaucrats has increased because they have stayed in the government sector longer than before as a result of the government's efforts to curb the arrangement of post-retirement positions for them in the private sector. The amended laws cut the salaries of officials aged 40 and older by an average of 0.1% and imposed an additional cut of 1.5% in principle on the salaries of those who will be 56 or older in fiscal 2010. Annual bonuses are cut to 3.95 months' worth of salary from 4.15 months. The authority proposed maintaining the salaries of public servants in their thirties and younger because they are lower than those of their private-sector counterparts. (NPA, Outline of the 2010 NPA Remuneration Recommendation (Aug. 10, 2010), http://ssl.jinji.go.jp/en/recomme/remuneration2010.pdf; Kyodo News, Older Civil Servants Facing Pay Cut, JAPAN TIMES (Aug. 11, 2010), http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nb20100811a3.html; Law to Amend the Law Concerning Remuneration of General Civil Servants, 2010, and other amendments to related laws).