In Japan, expatriates rule when it comes to the biggest pay packages.

Foreign executives held eight of the top 10 spots on Bloomberg's ranking of the country's best-paid executives last year. SoftBank Group Corp.'s former Chief Operating Officer Nikesh Arora, whose ¥8 billion package topped the list, hails from India. Joseph DePinto, a director of Seven & i Holdings Co. who came in second, and Ronald Fisher, a director at SoftBank who ranked third, are both Americans.

U.S.-sized compensation packages have long been considered taboo in Asia's second-largest economy. Higher wages in Japan were typically earned by sticking around, thanks to rigid corporate promotion systems based on tenure.