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NEW YORK (Kyodo) A record 691 billionaires made Forbes magazine’s annual list, including 24 Japanese.

Yasumitsu Shigeta, the 40-year-old chairman of Hikari Tsushin Inc., returned to the list after sliding off following the collapse of the technology bubble in 2000, according to the magazine released Thursday. He ranked 228th this year, with $2.6 billion in personal assets.

Shigeta, originally a mobile phone retailer, has diversified and now sells telecom services, including cheap long-distance and Internet calls.

Steve Forbes, CEO and editor in chief of Forbes magazine, described Shigeta as “a man from Japan who in a matter of four months in the year 2000 lost wealth of $40 billion. Now, he’s back on the list again with a vengeance.”

Kenshin Oshima, 57, president of industrial loan company SFCG Co., also returned to the list. He ranked 488th, with $1.4 billion.

Han Chang Woo, 74, was a new Japanese addition this year. He was ranked 584th, with a $1.1 billion fortune made from pachinko parlors.

“We had people making the pachinko machines, but this is the first time (someone) actually runs the parlor,” Forbes’ associate editor Luisa Kroll said.

Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, the former Kokudo Corp. chairman who has been arrested for allegedly falsifying financial statements and insider trading, placed 149th with $3.7 billion. He was once the world’s richest man.

Suntory Ltd. President Nobutada Saji remained Japan’s richest billionaire for the second consecutive year, with $5.8 billion. He placed 77th.

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