• Kyodo

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Workers at leading companies received a summer bonus of ¥809,502 on average this year, up 4.99 percent from the previous year and the sharpest rise since 1991, a survey released Wednesday by Keidanren said.

The weighted average marked the first rise in two years and topped ¥800,000 for the first time in five, the revised data compiled by the nation’s most influential business lobby said.

The rise mirrored improved earnings at export-oriented companies receiving a boost from a yen weakened by the Bank of Japan’s aggressive monetary easing under the “Abenomics” plan of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe has urged business circles to hike wages to help end nearly two decades of deflation, but a Keidanren official said the firms raised bonuses independently amid better earnings.

The survey covered 240 leading firms, with 132 having reached bonus deals with workers.

Bonuses rose in 10 sectors, including autos and electrical appliances, but fell in seven others, it said.

In contrast, steel-makers cut bonuses by 6.76 percent to ¥573,945, while pulp- and paper-makers reported a fall of 5.48 percent to ¥622,914.

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