Gilles Dufrénot: gilles.dufrenot[at]sciencespo-aix.fr
Kiyotaka Sato: sato[at]ynu.ac.jp
The project of a "living wage" (seikatsu-kyû), developed during the war on the basis of expertise built up since the 1920s, and taken up again and improved by experts in the aftermath of the defeat, was integrated into the demands of the unions. It was thus adopted to a certain extent by many companies, notably in the form of the so-called Densan wage model. This wage model was supposed to lead the Japanese economy out of a logic of low wages and to ensure the social foundations of a stable democratic and peaceful regime. We shall see how this notion was structuring the social system that was established during the years of high growth, but also what its limits were.