Executive pay on the rise at top Japanese firms

Japan has at least three listed companies where a top executive earned more than 100 times the average annual salary for employees in the year ended March, according to their settlement accounts.

“I felt disheartened to hear that the president received about 900 million yen when many workers are wondering every day how to save on even 1,000 yen,” says one [Nissan] employee.

A female employee at Dai Nippon Printing said the president’s level of compensation “came as a shock because bonuses for employees have been falling nonstop.”

Salaries of company employees in Japan have been stagnating.

While executive compensation at large corporations capitalized at 1 billion yen or more increased 23 percent from fiscal 2001 to fiscal 2007, the salaries of employees have more or less remained unchanged over the same period, according to Finance Ministry statistics.

The cash earnings for employees fell year on year for 21 consecutive months through February partly due to the global financial crisis, according to labor ministry figures.