Last month, the National Tax agency made its annual announcement of those paying more than 10 million yen in income tax and, as always, the list reflected major trends of the times.

In the year 2000, profits based on stock transactions, such as those of Son Masayoshi, Softbank president and the No. 3 taxpayer nationally, continued to replace those based on real estate and, as the Asahi Shimbun and other papers noted (May 16), the winners were those who through low prices or original ideas could manage to attract consumers during the continuing recession. Thus the president of the Internet shopping mall Rakuten ranked No. 2, the president of McDonald’s Japan No. 27 and the head of the Uniqlo chain of clothing stores No. 31.

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