Japanese lawmakers reveal 2013 incomes

JIJI

The average declared incomes of lawmakers reached ¥22.81 million in 2013, up ¥2.75 million from the previous year, figures showed Monday.

Incomes rose for a second straight year, but the average was skewed by one individual’s income: a record ¥3 billion or so received by former internal affairs minister Kunio Hatoyama of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who sold a large number of inherited shares.

Excluding Hatoyama’s income, average incomes stood at ¥18.31 million, down ¥1.75 million from a year earlier.

The previous record for any one lawmaker was ¥2.08 billion, earned in 1999 by former science and technology policy minister Takashi Sasagawa.

The declarations covered 648 lawmakers who held seats throughout 2013, comprising 477 members of the House of Representatives and 171 members of the House of Councillors. It is based on a 1992 law on the disclosure of lawmakers’ assets.

In 2013, Hatoyama’s income totaled ¥2,937.57 million, up sharply from ¥332.63 million for the previous year, as he sold shares in Bridgestone Corp. that were inherited from his mother, Yasuko, who died in February last year. She was the eldest daughter of the late Bridgestone founder Shojiro Ishibashi.

The average income for lawmakers in the Lower House reached ¥24.75 million, compared with ¥17.41 million for those in the upper chamber.

LDP lawmakers earned most, on average, at ¥26.72 million, regaining the top spot for the first time in seven years. Your Party came second with ¥21.39 million, followed by ¥20.98 million for lawmakers from the People’s Life Party. The largest opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, ranked seventh with ¥16.11 million.

Lawmakers also submitted supplementary reports describing changes in their asset holdings, such as land. Hatoyama saw his assets increase by ¥2.76 billion, the highest growth among all lawmakers, thanks to land and building received from his late mother’s estate.