The assets held by 11 state ministers newly appointed in September’s Cabinet reshuffle averaged 77.07 million yen when the ministers assumed their posts, according to documents disclosed Friday.

For the whole Cabinet, including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and six retained ministers, the figure stands at 91.98 million yen, down from the 100.63 million yen disclosed last December for the previous Cabinet.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshinobu Shimamura topped the asset list among the 11 new ministers, with 295 million yen.

Shimamura’s assets include real estate such as land in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward and property in the upscale summer resort of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture, as well as financial products such as a securities investment trust.

Second was Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, with 113 million yen, Defense Agency Director General Yoshinori Ono, with 112 million yen, and Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Hidehisa Otsuji, with 83 million yen.

Last on the list, which excluded Yasufumi Tanahashi, state minister in charge of science and technology policy and food safety, was Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Kazuo Kitagawa, with 12 million yen. Tanahashi’s assets have not been finalized because his recently purchased house and its land have yet to be evaluated.

The disclosed assets include real estate, deposits and securities — but exclude stockholdings. They also include assets held under the names of spouses and children.

When the assets of Koizumi and the retained ministers are taken into account, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Taro Aso comes top of the list, with assets of 455 million yen. Koizumi ranks third, after Shimamura.

Six of the new 11 ministers have postal savings accounts, reflecting the deeply rooted popularity of the postal service.

Koizumi’s new Cabinet is seen as being geared toward postal privatization, a main pillar of his reform drive. Koizumi appointed ministers he believes are eager to promote privatization of the nation’s postal services, including mail delivery, postal savings and postal insurance operations.

Ono topped the list of postal savings depositors, with 15 million yen, including savings held by family members. He was followed by Shimamura, with 10.57 million yen.

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