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POLL-Japan Inc not keen on call for 3 pct wage hikes; many keen to boost internal controls

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TOKYO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Two-thirds of Japanese firms think Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's target for raising wages by 3 percent is a tall order, with some calling it "out of the question," a Reuters poll found. The Corporate Survey also showed that almost half of Japanese companies have either taken steps to strengthen internal controls or are planning to in the wake of a series of compliance and data fabrication scandals. Below are the questions and answers from the poll conducted Nov. 21 to Dec. 4 for Reuters by Nikkei Research. Answers are denoted in percentage points, while poll and reply totals represent the number of respondents.

1a. Are you worried that recent scandals involving data falsification and improper inspections at major Japanese firms will hurt the brand image of Japanese products? (Pick one)

Sectors Yes, greatly Yes, to a degree Not really Not at all Polled Replied All 28 61 10 0 547 243 Manufacturers 29 63 8 0 268 124 Non-Manufacturers 27 60 13 1 279 119

1b. In response to the recent scandals, have you implemented or do you plan to implement steps to strengthen internal controls on quality and services? (Pick one)

Sectors Yes, have Yes, plan to No particular Polled

Replied

taken steps take steps plan All 19 25 55 547

240

Manufacturers 21 27 52 268

124

Non-Manufacturers 17 24 59 279

116 2a. Do you have high expectations from a broad agreement reached by 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) excluding the United States? (Pick one)

Sectors Considerably To a degree Not really Not at all Polled

Replied

All 4 51 41 3 547 239 Manufacturers 5 54 37 4 268 123 Non-Manufacturers 3 49 46 3 279 116

2b. What kind of trade framework should Japan pursue given the difficulties of implementing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with U.S. participation? (Pick one)

Sectors TPP deal 'RCEP' 'FTAAP' Bilateral trade Polled Replied without East-Asia Asia-Pacific pacts with U.S., EU U.S. trade deal free trade and other countries

deal

All 37 11 27 25 547 228 Manufacturers 36 13 27 24 268 116 Non-Manufacturers 38 10 27 25 279 112

2c. What do you want the government to push for the most in the TPP 11 agreement (Pick one)

Sectors U.S Boosting trade Expanding Strengthening Adoption of Others Polled Replied participation liberalization procurement by rules on investor-state rate state-owned intellectual dispute settlement enterprises property (ISDS) rules All 50 21 5 15 6 2 547 230 Manufacturers 43 21 5 21 6 4 268 117 Non-Manufacturers 58 20 5 10 6 0 279 113

3a. Abe's government is urging Japanese firms to hike wages by 3 percent and is looking at much greater tax breaks to encourage companies to hike wages. Do you think a 3 percent pay hike is a realistic target? (Pick one)

Sectors Yes, absolutely Yes, to a degree Not really Totally out of Polled Replied

the question

All 5 26 61 7 547 235 Manufacturers 4 28 59 9 268 120 Non-Manufacturers 6 25 63 5 279 115

3b. Are you using the preferential tax scheme currently available for companies that have raised wages by 2 percent or more?

Sectors Yes No Polled Replied All 19 81 547 234 Manufacturers 14 86 268 120 Non-Manufacturers 24 76 279 114

3c. Will you use the preferential tax scheme if it gives much greater tax breaks to companies that raise wages by 3 percent or more?

Sectors Yes No Polled Replied All 49 51 547 227 Manufacturers 50 50 268 115 Non-Manufacturers 48 52 279 112

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Izumi Nakagawa Editing by Edwina Gibbs)