Japan Data

Japan’s Top Execs’ Growing Pay Packets


A survey found that 731 Japanese executives received compensation exceeding ¥100 million in 2018.

Number of ¥100 Million Executives Passes 700 for the First Time

Top Japanese executives are increasingly highly rewarded. Disclosure in company securities reports of individual compensation exceeding ¥100 million began in March 2010, following an amendment to a Cabinet Office ordinance. Excluding 2012, directly after the Great East Japan Earthquake, both the numbers of companies and executives have been consistently on the rise, with the latter totaling more than 700 for the first time in 2018.

Of those 731 executives, the compensation for 227 exceeded ¥100 million for the first time in 2018. Of the 504 who also appeared the previous year, 367, or over 70% of the total, saw their compensation increase.

A total of 10 executives received ¥1 billion or more in 2018 (up from 8 people in 2017) and 179 people (146 in 2017) received compensation in the range of ¥200 million to ¥1 billion. Since 2011, 115 executives have received compensation exceeding ¥100 million for eight years in a row.

The total amount paid to the 731 executives was ¥148.03 billion. Basic remuneration accounted for ¥71.08 billon (48.0% of the total), bonuses were ¥33.40 billion (22.5%), stock options were ¥13.63 billion (9.2%), and retirement benefits (including provision of reserve) were ¥6.77 billion (4.5%).

2018 Executive Compensation Ranking

Compensation Previous Year
1 Sony Hirai Kazuo ¥2.71 billion ¥914 million
2 Seven & i Holdings Joseph Michael DePinto ¥2.40 billion ¥1.89 billion
3 SoftBank Group Ronald Fisher ¥2.01 billion ¥2.42 billion
4 SoftBank Group Marcelo Claure ¥1.38 billion
5 Sanyō Housing Nagoya Miyazaki Sōichi ¥1.27 billion ¥179 million
6 SoftBank Group Rajeev Misra ¥1.23 billion
7 Takeda Pharmaceutical Christophe Weber ¥1.21 billion ¥1.04 billion
8 Lixil Group Seto Kin’ya ¥1.12 billion ¥526 million
9 Fusō Chemical Akazawa Ryōta ¥1.03 billion
10 Toyota Didier Leroy ¥1.02 billion ¥683 million

Compiled by Nippon.com based on data of Tokyo Shōkō Research.

The highest compensation for an executive was Sony Chairman Hirai Kazuo with ¥2.71 billion. Due to retirement payments of ¥1.18 billion, this amount tripled from his previous year’s compensation of ¥914 million. This was followed by Joseph Michael DePinto of Seven & i Holdings, who received ¥2.40 billion, and Ronald Fisher of SoftBank Group, who got ¥2.01 billion.

Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan chairman arrested by Tokyo prosecutors on suspicion of misstatements of executive compensation, ranked nineteenth with ¥735 million. For the fifth year running, Mitsubishi Electric had the most executives listed with 22.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: President & CEO Hirai Kazuo and Executive Deputy President and CFO Yoshida Ken’ichirō shake hands at the press conference announcing Yoshida’s appointment as the next president at Sony Corporation headquarters in Tokyo, on February 2, 2018. © Jiji.)

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