National / Politics

Assets held by members of Japan’s House of Representatives sink to record-low ¥29 million

Kyodo

House of Representatives lawmakers held a record-low average of ¥29.17 million ($274,000) in assets, according to a tally based on data they released Monday after the 2017 snap election.

The data cover financial assets, land and property held by members of the Lower House who were elected in October. The average is ¥5.46 million lower than the average from the previous survey in May 2015, and the lowest since 1993, when a law requiring lawmakers to release such data took effect.

The tally, compiled by Kyodo News,

The 2016 death of Kunio Hatoyama, a former minister of internal affairs and communications, had the effect of dragging down the average by some ¥6.6 million. Hatoyama ranked first in the 2015 survey with holdings worth more than ¥3 billion.

Born to a prominent political family, Hatoyama had inherited assets from his mother, Yasuko, whose father founded tire maker Bridgestone Corp.

Based on the most recent data, Saichi Kamiyama of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party had the most assets at ¥930.71 million, followed by former Vice Foreign Minister Ichiro Aisawa with ¥500.1 million and Finance Minister Taro Aso with ¥486.82 million. The top six positions are held by members of the LDP.

The number of Lower House members with over ¥100 million in assets rose to 27, climbing by six, even as the chamber’s seat count was trimmed to 465 from 475 in the 2017 general election. Seventy lawmakers reported having no assets other than stocks, down five from the previous survey.

In the meantime, new members of the chamber saw their assets climb by ¥6.68 million to an average of ¥20.36 million.

By sex, the 47 women in the Lower House held an average of ¥11.44 million in assets and the men held ¥31.16 million.

By party, the opposition Liberal Party ranked first with an average of ¥109.03 million, followed by the LDP with ¥37.35 million and the Democratic Party with ¥25.02 million.