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Business trends

Corporate Japan gears up for fifth year of record dividends

Payout ratio to sink as profits climb more sharply

Kao, one of Japan's largest diaper makers, will raise dividends for a 28th consecutive year.

TOKYO -- Dividends from publicly traded Japanese companies are expected to hit a record for the fifth year in a row in fiscal 2017, with retail investors who directly own corporate shares pocketing roughly 2.5 trillion yen ($22.4 billion). 

Payouts will rise 4% to 12.4 trillion yen, including planned and projected dividends, according to a tabulation by Nikkei Inc. This will represent an eighth straight year of growth. A quarter of enterprises that close their books in March are seen raising or resuming payouts, but the payout ratio will likely edge down as profits surge at a faster clip.

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