• Kyodo

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Winter bonuses at Japanese companies employing more than 500 people averaged ¥880,736 ($7,500), up 0.02 percent from the previous year and rising for the fourth straight year, the country’s major business lobby said Wednesday.

Winter bonuses at Japanese manufacturers averaged ¥900,490, up 0.47 percent and topping the ¥900,000 line for the first time since the survey started in 1997, according to a tally of Keidanren.

A Keidanren official mainly attributed the rise to an increase in the revenue of manufacturers. Winter bonuses at major companies have recovered to the levels before the global financial crisis in 2008, the official added.

The average winter bonuses at nonmanufacturers, however, fell 0.69 percent from a year before to ¥822,518 for the first decrease in three years.

Out of 20 industries, 13 including the fiber, automobile and food sectors, showed improvement in winter bonuses, while the remaining seven, such as steel and shipbuilding, declined, compared with a year earlier.

Keidanren conducted the survey on 251 companies whose stocks are listed on the Tokyo stock market’s main division. The data are based on conclusion from 145 companies where employers and labor unions reached agreements on winter bonus payments.

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