National

Your Party man richest Upper House winner

Kyodo News

Your Party member Kota Matsuda, with ¥486.45 million in assets, is the wealthiest of the 121 Upper House members who won in July, according to a tally based on their financial reports released Tuesday.

Matsuda, founder of coffee chain operator Tully’s Coffee Japan Co., won a Diet seat for the first time in the July 11 election. He was followed in wealth by Akio Koizumi of the Liberal Democratic Party at ¥294.85 million and Your Party’s Kenji Nakanishi at ¥258.78 million.

Assets held by the 121 Upper House members averaged ¥30.67 million, up 29.0 percent from January 2008, when the remaining members of the chamber disclosed their assets in line with the law after winning their seats in the 2007 election.

The reports cover financial assets, including savings, and real estate, such as land, houses and buildings. The lawmakers are also required to identify the names of stocks they hold as well as the number of shares.

Matsuda ranked at the top in equity holdings, possessing a total of 27.37 million shares in 14 companies.

Fifty-five of the 121 lawmakers are new to the Upper House. Their assets averaged ¥31.72 million, topping the ¥29.79 million reported by veteran members.

Twelve reported that they had no assets, down from 14 in the 2008 reports. Nine of these 12 are new faces.

Your Party, which has 10 members subject to asset disclosure, ranked No. 1 in average asset value at ¥88.04 million, followed by one member of Tachiagare Nippon (Sunrise Party) at ¥83.46 million and two members of the Social Democratic Party at ¥66.50 million.

The Democratic Party of Japan had 44 members secure Diet seats in July, and their assets averaged ¥26.45 million, compared with ¥26.03 million for 51 LDP members and ¥10.34 million for nine members of New Komeito.

The assets of three Japanese Communist Party members averaged ¥6.98 million.

DPJ to vow reform

The Democratic Party of Japan plans to adopt a policy of pursuing reform to fix the problems of “money and politics” as seen in the scandals involving some of its most important members, according to a draft of the plan obtained Tuesday.

The DPJ says it will impose a total ban on donations by companies and organizations.