Tanaka is Cabinet’s top asset holder

Kyodo

Education minister Makiko Tanaka is the wealthiest member of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s Cabinet in terms of declared family assets, with some ¥313.4 million worth.

Tanaka is among the eight new ministers appointed when Noda reshuffled his Cabinet in October, and declared her family assets at the time of her Oct. 1 inauguration. Tanaka, a former foreign minister and daughter of the late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, was the only one of the Cabinet’s 19 members to declare family assets in excess of ¥100 million, documents showed Friday.

The average value of assets declared, including by Noda, stood at ¥44.04 million. Meanwhile, state minister for postal reform and disaster prevention Mikio Shimoji reported no family assets whatsoever.

Of her total personal assets, Tanaka holds ¥206.8 million and her husband, Naoki, an ex-defense chief, ¥106.5 million. Their family home in Tokyo’s Mejiro district, which was inherited from Tanaka’s father, accounts for 80 percent of these assets.

Among the other new Cabinet appointees, health minister Wakio Mitsui declared ¥64.6 million in family assets, Finance Minister Koriki Jojima ¥45.5 million and national policy minister Seiji Maehara ¥13.5 million. The average assets declared by the eight new members came to ¥64.6 million.

Cabinet members began disclosing their assets in 1984 following Kakuei Tanaka’s conviction in the Lockheed payoff scandal after he had left office.

At present, the prime minister, Cabinet ministers, senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries are required to disclose their family assets, including real estate, deposits, securities, golf course memberships, automobiles and artworks. The value of individual items is not declared.