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The Bank of Japan is once again the highest corporate income earner, according to statistics for fiscal 1997 released Thursday by Teikoku Databank.

The announcement marks the central bank’s return to the top spot for the first time in six years, said the major corporate research firm, which compiled the statistics on corporate pretax income.

Teikoku officials said profits related to foreign exchange rates and long-term government bonds brought the bank nearly 931 billion yen in pretax earnings in fiscal 1997.

Toyota Motor Corp., the top earner in fiscal 1996, fell to second with 583 billion yen, a 21.7 percent decrease. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. remained in third place, despite a 37.9 percent income drop to 255 billion yen, the statistics show.

Overall, the consumer credit industry did well, reflecting consumers’ concerns about the economy, the officials said. Takefuji Corp. rose to ninth from 13th last year, the officials said.

As for major commercial banks, Sakura Bank held on to fifth place, the only commercial bank on the top 10 list. Efforts to resolve its bad-loan problem helped boost its position, the officials said.

Meanwhile, manufacturers were hurt by poor domestic demand. Toyota, Honda Motor Co., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Sony Corp. fared worse than in the previous fiscal year, they said.

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