Honda plans to pay record bonuses to staff this year, while Toyota and Nissan Motor also intend to raise wages as Japanese carmakers pass some of their booming earnings on to their workers.

According to Dow Jones, the three carmakers on Wednesday agreed with their unions on wages for 2004 in annual spring salary talks as robust earnings due to strong sales in North America enabled them to match most of the wage hike requests.

Honda reportedly said its bonuses will be equivalent to a record 6.55 months' pay, more than the 6.4 months paid last year. Honda's union had requested a bonus of 6.6 months and didn't request a hike in monthly salaries, the report said.

Nissan has agreed to raise monthly salaries for the fifth consecutive year with a hike of Y7,000 a month and will also pay annual bonuses equivalent to six months' wages, as the union had requested, Dow Jones said.

Toyota reportedly said it will raise monthly pay by Y6,500, as its union had requested, and also accepted its union's bonus demand of 5.0 months' wage plus Y530,000 though that's Y20,000 less than a year ago, the report added.

Dow Jones noted that Honda is expecting a record net profit of Y473 billion for the current fiscal year ending March 31 while Toyota is also anticipating record earnings, but hasn't released a forecast.

Renault affiliate Nissan is reportedly forecasting group net profit will remain unchanged even after a boost last fiscal year from a one-time gain due to the sale of a major production site.

According to Dow Jones, Yoshihide Munekuni, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, said the spring wage talks reflect the business environment surrounding each company and the motor industry as a whole.