National

Average income for Japan's lawmakers fell for first time in four years in 2019

Kyodo

The average income of lawmakers in 2019 stood at ¥24.27 million, down 8.7 percent from the previous year and the first decline in four years, data released by the Diet showed Tuesday.

Taichiro Motoe, a House of Councilors member from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, topped the list of 653 lawmakers, with an income of ¥845.02 million. The lawyer-turned-politician gained ¥778.93 million last year through stock sales, according to the data.

Motoe, 44, who set up a law firm in 2005, is currently in his first term in the Upper House after being elected in 2016, and he also manages a portal site for legal consultations. He ranked second on the list for 2018.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who heads the LDP, reported ¥38.68 million in annual income, down ¥1.6 million from the previous year but the highest among party leaders for the second consecutive year. Salary and annual allowances accounted for almost all of his income.

The average income among lawmakers returned to the levels seen in 2016 and 2017. For 2018, it struck a 16-year-high of ¥26.57 million, inflated by House of Representatives lawmaker Jiro Hatoyama, who booked over ¥1.7 billion in income after selling unlisted stocks.

Hatoyama, also from the LDP, earned ¥23.26 million in 2019, ranking 169th.

Among the top 20 on the list, LDP members took 17 places.

Ichiro Aisawa, a veteran Lower House member and former senior vice foreign minister, rose to second from third in the previous year with ¥111.70 million, including ¥60.65 million in rental income from a property in Tokyo's upscale Minamiaoyama district.

Third place was taken by LDP Upper House member Kenji Nakanishi. The former executive of JP Morgan Securities Japan Co. earned ¥107.97 million, including ¥88.27 million in dividends from the company.

Income for LDP lawmakers averaged ¥26.08 million, the highest among all parties. The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan came second at ¥22.09 million, followed by the Democratic Party for the People at ¥22.04 million.

The data covered 454 members of the 465-seat Lower House and 199 members of the 245-seat Upper House who had seats in the Diet throughout the reporting year.

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