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Japanese companies to pay record interim dividends

Mitsubishi Motors, after a series of restructuring efforts, is ready to pay a midyear dividend again.

TOKYO -- Encouraged by bright earnings prospects and the government's push to strengthen corporate governance, many Japanese companies are stepping up dividends to the point that aggregate interim payouts are seen reaching record levels.

     The Nikkei compiled data on 2,262 listed companies in Japan that close their books March 31 and for which comparable data since fiscal 2007 is available. They plan to pay out a total of 3.17 trillion yen ($29.2 billion) for the six months through Sept. 30 -- up about 10% on the year and marking a second straight year of records for the half.

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