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Diet members earned an average of 28.71 million yen in 2001, up 4.4 percent from the year before, according to income declarations released Monday by both houses of the Diet.

The declarations cover all income, not just Diet pay.

In 2000, lawmakers earned a record low 27.54 million yen, the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors said, pointing out that the nation’s prolonged economic slump kept the average below the 30 million yen line.

Since such data were first released in 1993, the average income of Diet members has cracked the 30 million yen mark only twice, in 1993 and 1994. In 1995, lawmakers’ average annual income fell to around 20 million yen.

Takashi Sasagawa, a Lower House member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, earned 1.01 billion yen in 2001, retaining his position as the top earner in the Diet for the third consecutive year. His earnings were helped by 855 million yen in capital gains from stock sales.

Former Foreign Minister Yohei Kono of the LDP came second at 680.39 million yen, followed by Ryu Matsumoto, a Lower House member of the Democratic Party of Japan, at 441.63 million yen. Their incomes were mainly due to profits on sales of land.

In 2001, there were six so-called high-income earners — who took in more than 100 million yen — up from the record low of three in 2000.

The incomes of 98 lawmakers in 2001 came only from their basic annual salary, up from 82.

Former Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka of the LDP was the top female earner on the list, with an annual income of 38.7 million yen, placing her 45th overall.

The average annual income of female lawmakers was 22.69 million yen. Their male counterparts earned an average of 29.36 million yen.

By political party, members of the LDP had the highest average income, at 32.88 million yen, followed by the New Conservative Party and the DPJ.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi earned 36.88 million yen, including 12.5 million yen in salary as prime minister. DPJ chief Yukio Hatoyama was the highest earner among major political party heads, with 88.36 million yen.

The income declarations, made under a 1993 law on disclosure of lawmakers’ income, assets and related companies, covered a total of 664 lawmakers — 473 members of the Lower House and 191 members of the House of Councilors — who were in the Diet for the entire reporting year.

There were 106 new faces in the Lower House who entered the Diet in the election in 2000 and in by-elections in October. Their average annual income came to 24.4 million yen.

Among three lawmakers who stepped down from their posts this year due to scandals, former Upper House President Yutaka Inoue declared some 17.3 million yen in income.

Kiyomi Tsujimoto, a former Lower House member of the Social Democratic Party, and former LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato did not submit income reports.

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