Winter bonuses hit record in Japan, led by manufacturers
Nikkei -- Dec 11
Winter bonuses at Japanese companies averaged an all-time high of 834,391 yen ($7,400) this year, according to a Nikkei survey released Monday, notching a sixth straight year of growth on strong corporate earnings.

The average across all industries was the highest since the survey began in 1975, topping the $7,300 tally from 2007 just before the financial crisis. This year's 3.28% growth surpassed a 2.18% increase last year to top the 3% mark for the first time in three years.

The strong 2018 bonuses reflect healthy earnings for the year ended in March since many companies set winter-bonus payouts during annual pay negotiations in spring. Net profit for Japan's listed businesses hit a second straight high in fiscal 2017.

The generous payouts are likely to help boost individual consumption. But with the U.S.-China trade war clouding the global economic outlook, next year may not see a repeat of such brisk growth.

The payout in the manufacturing sector climbed 3.38% to $7,750 in a second consecutive year of growth, jumping 16.24% among steelmakers and 5.97% for machinery manufacturers.

The growth at manufacturers outpaced that at nonmanufacturers for the first time in four years. In the three years through 2017, the nonmanufacturing sector aggressively sweetened bonus packages to retain employees amid a worsening labor shortage.

Buoyed by strong demand for memory chips, Tokyo Electron topped Japanese companies' winter-bonus ranking for a second-year in a row.

国家公務員に10日、冬のボーナスが支給されました。平均の支給額は約71万円です。 内閣人事局によりますと、管理職を除いた一般職の国家公務員の冬のボーナスは平均で71万円と去年の冬より約4400円、減りました。職員の平均年齢の低下などが影響しています。
News sources: Nikkei, ANNnewsCH
Jan 20
Tickets for all of host-nation Japan's Rugby World Cup 2019 pool games have sold out following the start of sales on a first-come, first-serve basis, organizers said Saturday. (Japan Today)
Jan 20
More than half a million high-school students and graduates across Japan are putting their knowledge to the test at unified college and university entrance exams. (NHK)
Jan 20
A public high school in Machida City has apologized to a boy after the emergence online of a video that purportedly shows a male teacher assaulting him, reports Fuji News Network (
Jan 20
Work began in northeastern Japan on Saturday to tear down a former town hall building where dozens of people died in a tsunami in 2011, despite calls from some residents to preserve it as a memorial. (Japan Today)
Jan 19
The number of suicides in Japan dropped 3.4 percent from a year earlier to 20,598 in 2018, down for the ninth year and the lowest in 37 years amid economic recovery, preliminary data by the National Police Agency showed Friday. (Japan Today)
Jan 19
Japan's Epsilon-4 rocket has put into orbit seven small satellites that were developed by private-sector companies and universities. (NHK)
Jan 19
The body of a man struck by an oncoming train at a station in Fujimi City hit and injured two women on the platform, police said on Friday, reports TV Asahi. (
Jan 19
Kanagawa Prefectural Police are hunting for a gunman who shot the wife of a boss in the Inagawa-kai criminal syndicate and his male driver on a road in Kawasaki City on Thursday, reports TV Asahi (
Jan 18
A work of graffiti found at a Tokyo waterfront is receiving special treatment. (NHK)
Jan 17
A Japanese court has ruled that a subway firm's severe evaluation of personnel with beards or mustaches was unfair, and ordered that damages be paid. (NHK)