This is just a quick factoid I picked up a few months ago from a student who worked in the microchip plant in town. I put it aside and forgot about it until now (as the plant is shutting down). Starting salary for men: ¥1250/hr; for women, ¥900/hr (identical job and rating). Top of the payscale: me ¥1400; women: ¥1050. (Note that these are for a 72 hour week, and that the laborers are all or nearly all foreign guest workers. Note also that this plant is going out of business because it couldn't compete with AMERICAN factories.)
Ah, to live in a progressive society.