Fast Retailing chief Yanai richest person in Japan: Forbes

JIJI

Fast Retailing Co. President and Chairman Tadashi Yanai topped U.S. magazine Forbes’ 2013 list of the 50 wealthiest in Japan announced Thursday.

With assets of $15.5 billion as of March 25, Yanai remained in the top spot for the second straight year. His assets increased 46 percent from a year before thanks to the successful overseas business expansion of the company’s Uniqlo casual wear unit.

Nobutada Saji, president of major food and beverage group Suntory Holdings Ltd., ranked second with $10.7 billion.

Masayoshi Son, president of Internet and telecommunications business conglomerate Softbank Corp., came third with $9.1 billion, followed by Hiroshi Mikitani, president and chairman of major Internet shopping mall operator Rakuten Inc., with $6.4 billion.

Saji, Son and Mikitani all saw their assets increase from year-before levels.

The total assets held by the 50 richest Japanese topped $112 billion, Forbes said.

Assets of leading Japanese companies and businesspeople are increasing partly because the yen’s weakness has boosted the country’s export competitiveness, it said.