The Japanese economy has been in a recession for over 12 years? or at least for a long, long time. Recently on my trip to Japan, I noticed that prices are way too high for all kinds of goods. So high, that they are unreasonable. For e.g., a breakfast for two cost about 43USD. A 160GB USB drive is about 50USD more than what you can get on Amazon.com. Same issue with clothes or daily necessities. Given this, it is no wonder there is less buying and less demand and hence deflation, at least this is what I think. While the rich Japanese can sustain spending high prices, the country overall cannot and will keep buying down. It will take a long time for supply and demand to find a common ground.
I don’t know about wages for all, but I heard that waiters at restaurant get a pity deal. Hence service might not be comparable to other restaurants around the world. This tip I got from our tour guide. However, the places we were at, the service was really awesome; maybe they were paid above average. Else, why would the waitresses (mostly ladies), be so polite and almost kind to customers? In the picture, you see a Japanese hostess serving tea at a traditional tea party.