Toyota Motor Corp. remained the top Japanese earner for the second straight year in fiscal 2000 due to strong domestic and overseas sales of new models and cost cuts, according to a list released Monday by Teikoku Databank.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) clinched the No. 2 slot, up from fourth last year, as increased demand from individuals and businesses boosted electricity sales, the major credit research agency said.

Third place went to Nippon Life Insurance Co. unchanged from its ranking last year.

The list is compiled annually by Teikoku Databank on the basis of public announcements by the National Tax Administration’s offices nationwide of all corporate entities that declared 40 million yen or more in taxable income in a given fiscal year. Fiscal 2000 ended on March 31.

Mobile phone giant NTT DoCoMo Inc., which operates the popular i-mode service, rose to fourth place from fifth on the strength of its i-mode capable cellphones, the agency said.

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., the holding company for NTT DoCoMo and other NTT arms, leaped to fifth place from 115th last year as it weathered the impact of the 1999 reorganization of the NTT group, it said.

In 1999, the group was broken up into several components, such as NTT DoCoMo, regional carriers NTT East Corp. and NTT West Corp., as well as long-distance carrier NTT Communications Corp.

Sixth place was seized by the National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives (Zenkyoren).

Zenkyoren’s profitability improved after it merged with the 47 Prefectural Mutual Insurance Federations of Agricultural Cooperatives (Kyosairen).

The merger led Zenkyoren to consolidate the earnings of the 47 prefectural allies into its books, it noted.

Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd. stormed into the top 10 for the first time, backed by brisk sales of pharmaceuticals overseas and in Japan. The firm rose to seventh place from 14th place in fiscal 1999.

Consumer financing firm Takefuji Corp. re-entered the top 10 at No. 8, up from 12th last year. Takefuji had dropped out of the list in fiscal 1999 after placing among the top 10 earners for the preceding three years.

Honda Motor Co. grabbed the ninth slot, dropping from eighth. The automaker, whose Odyssey minivans remain popular, took marginal hits from greater outlays on research and development as well as a shrinkage in the profitability of some exports.

Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. placed 10th, showing up on the list for the first time on the back of its popular nursing care insurance policies.

There were 800,142 firms identified by tax authorities as earning more than 40 million yen, the second yearly rise in a row.

Their combined income at 38.02 trillion yen, up 9.3 percent, also represented the second consecutive yearly rise.

Among Japan’s 16 major commercial banks, four declared more than 40 million yen in income in fiscal 2000. They are Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Asahi Bank, Daiwa Bank and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, which dropped to 12th place from second place.

The 16 banks booked a combined loan-loss charge of 4.70 trillion yen in fiscal 2000, down 1.8 percent from a year before.

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