• Kyodo


Diet members reported an average income of ¥24.27 million in 2014, an increase of ¥1.46 million from the previous year, according to data released Tuesday.

The increase partly reflects an end in May last year to a 20 percent reduction in their salaries designed to win public acceptance of the increase in the consumption tax.

Three earned more than ¥100 million, all of them hailing from the Liberal Democratic Party.

Miki Watanabe, a member of the Upper House and founder of Watami Co., an izakaya pub chain, topped the list with a reported income of about ¥1.28 billion.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also president of the LDP, reported ¥40.38 million, up ¥6.61 million from 2013. His income included his salaries as prime minister and a member of the Lower House.

The Diet data covered 644 lawmakers — 404 in the Lower House and 240 in the Upper House — who were in office throughout 2014. Their income levels were based on reports by the lawmakers and are not easily verifiable because they were not required to submit documentation.

Watanabe was followed by Kunio Hatoyama, a Lower House member and brother of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who reported about ¥294.91 million.

Hirohisa Takagi, also a Lower House member, placed third with a reported income of ¥171.18 million.

Mitsunari Okamoto, a Lower House member of junior coalition partner Komeito, ranked No. 4 with ¥94.17 million in income.

LDP Lower House member Seiko Noda topped the list of female lawmakers with an income of ¥32.17 million, but placed 50th among all the lawmakers in the survey.

Among party leaders, Ichiro Ozawa of the People’s Life Party & Taro Yamamoto and Friends, was the top earner at ¥60.75 million, followed by the LDP’s Abe and Yorihisa Matsuno of Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party), who took in ¥23.94 million.

Katsuya Okada of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan reported an income of ¥18.44 million, while Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi reported ¥21.31 million.

The incomes of Lower House members averaged ¥23.26 million, while in the Upper House the average was ¥25.97 million.

LDP members averaged ¥26.59 million, third among 10 parties, while DPJ members averaged ¥19.17 million, seventh highest. A splinter party comprised mostly of former Your Party members topped the list with an average income of ¥28.61 million.

The annual data released by both Diet chambers doesn’t include the incomes of lawmakers’ family members.