National / Politics

Seiko Noda tops list of biggest asset holders among new Abe Cabinet members

JIJI

Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda is the biggest asset holder among the 13 new ministers who joined Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet in a recent reshuffle, according to government data.

As of Aug. 3, when the revamped Cabinet was launched, Noda held ¥191.93 million in assets, including those held by her family. Three other ministers, including Tetsuma Esaki, minister for Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs, also topped the ¥100 million mark.

The average amount of assets held by Abe and his 19 Cabinet ministers, including the six retained or reappointed from other ministerial posts, stood at ¥93.36 million, down ¥3.43 million from the average of the previous Abe Cabinet, launched in August last year.

The data covered assets held by the ministers, their spouses and dependent children.

Assets held by the new ministers averaged ¥75.01 million.

The data, however, do not include the value of stocks owned by the ministers, who are only asked to disclose the names of companies they have shares of and their volume.

The biggest chunk of Noda’s assets was real estate in Hawaii owned by her husband, worth ¥158.78 million. Noda also held 11,300 shares in Japan Post Holdings Co., which runs the postal services supervised by her Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

Esaki came in at No. 2, with ¥129.17 million, including his and his wife’s land, building and financial assets. His wife owned more than 540,000 shares, including 450,000 shares in Mizuho Financial Group.

Education minister Yoshimasa Hayashi had the third-largest asset total, at ¥125.49 million, including real estate holdings in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture. He also owned 129,668 shares, including 244 shares in Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

Agriculture minister Ken Saito reported he had no assets, according to the data, which do not cover ordinary deposits.

The government also released asset data for Yasutoshi Nishimura, deputy chief cabinet secretary, and 19 state ministers. Their average stood at ¥26.41 million.

Among them, State Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Shinsuke Okuno topped the list, with ¥181.35 million.

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