• Kyodo

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National lawmakers earned ¥24.12 million ($214,600) on average last year, up 6.3 percent from 2015, due partly to an increase in compensation, data from the Diet showed Monday.

The top earner was Upper House member Keizo Takemi of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who reported ¥471.57 million, up from ¥30.18 million the previous year, after selling his for-rent condominium in an upscale residential part of Tokyo.

The second-biggest earner was Lower House politician Tsuneo Akaeda of the LDP, who made ¥242.22 million, followed by his LDP colleague Akira Sato, with ¥137.30 million.

The incomes of three top earners rose by more than ¥100 million from the previous year after being buoyed by property sales.

Lower House members averaged ¥24.01 million and Upper House members averaged ¥24.38 million.

The rise in Diet lawmakers’ average income in 2016 followed the first fall in four years in 2015.

Among party leaders, the Liberal Party’s Ichiro Ozawa ranked first with ¥44.71 million in income, followed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, head of the LDP, with ¥38.55 million. Abe’s income included his pay as both lawmaker and prime minister.

Women accounted for 76 of the 661 lawmakers who disclosed their incomes.

Lower House politician Tomoko Abe of the Democratic Party led all women with ¥30.60 million and was ranked 49th overall.

Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, also from the LDP, was the top female earner in 2015 but fell to second place last year with income of ¥29.3 million.

Upper House member Miki Watanabe of the LDP, the founder of izakaya (pub) chain Watami Co., fell to 19th in 2016 with ¥51.3 million after leading in 2014 and 2015.

By party affiliation, members of the Liberal Party had the highest incomes on average at ¥28.67 million, followed by the LDP at ¥25.85 million and Nippon Ishin no Kai at ¥24.54 million.

The Democratic Party placed fifth among the eight parties in the Diet, reporting an average of ¥21.36 million in income.

The data covered 468 Lower House members and 193 Upper House members who held seats in 2016.

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