National / Politics

Reconstruction chief Takeshita tops wealth rankings of 12 new ministers

Kyodo

Reconstruction Minister Wataru Takeshita was the wealthiest of 12 new ministers appointed to the Cabinet in September as measured by family assets, government data said Friday.

The younger half-brother of former Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita (1924-2000), who was in power between 1987 and 1989, had a declared fortune of ¥457.72 million.

Takeshita’s wealth represented more than half of the new ministers’ combined wealth, a total of ¥883.17 million.

Shigeru Ishiba, minister in charge of revitalizing local economies, ranked 10th with ¥20.91 million. Ishiba’s appointment made headlines during the reshuffle because he was the powerful secretary-general of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party at the time and Abe’s rival for prime minister.

The 12 were each worth an average of ¥73.60 million, which brings down the average net worth of all Cabinet members, including Abe and six retained ministers, to ¥87.65 million, from ¥101.93 million before the reshuffle.

Among the five female ministers given appointments, Justice Minister Midori Matsushima ranked first with ¥63.90 million, followed by trade and industry minister Yuko Obuchi, with ¥28.04 million.

Haruko Arimura, minister in charge of women’s empowerment, ranked last — with ¥1.25 million in time deposits.

Takeshita’s family assets included his wife’s time deposits of ¥245 million, but do not cover his shareholdings in companies such as a contractor founded by his wife’s family.

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki ranked second, with ¥81.6 million.

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