Toyota Motor Corp. remained Japan’s top taxable income earner in fiscal 2001, dominating the nation’s top 50 businesses for the third year in a row, according to a list released Thursday by the National Tax Agency.

Boosted by solid overseas sales, Toyota amassed taxable income of 937.2 billion yen, up 38 percent on the previous year.

NTT DoCoMo Inc., the top mobile phone carrier and a subsidiary of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., climbed into second place from fourth with income of 410.03 billion yen, up 45.3 percent over the previous year.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. came in third with 365.09 billion yen, down 5.25 billion yen, the agency said.

Overall, however, the total taxable income of the top 50 firms combined shrank 20.4 percent from the preceding year, to 15.104 trillion yen — the steepest since fiscal 1992, when the agency began compiling taxable income data for firms with capital of 3 billion yen or more.

Sharp Corp. and Sony Corp. were dropped from the list, along with other major companies heavily dependent on information technology-related products.

Another high-profile company that vanished from the top 50 was the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, which had been in 11th place the previous year.

Among the new entrants listed by the agency were NTT DoCoMo Tokai Inc. and NTT DoCoMo Tohoku Inc., regional operators of the DoCoMo group.

Sixteen of the top 50 earners are related to public utilities, including power and gas suppliers, NTT and some of the Japan Railway firms.

KDDI Corp. made the most conspicuous leap in the rankings by booking a taxable income 18 times the preceding year’s income, thanks to a securitization scheme involving its head office building and other real estate.

The list was compiled on the basis of taxable income filed by 3,569 major companies with capital of 3 billion yen or more that closed their books in the year ending March 31, 2002.

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