Friday, February 20

Top 10 Richest People of Japan 2009

1 Tadashi Yanai

Tadashi Yanai

His NET WORTH  $6.1 billion and SOURCE of Retail at the age of 60.His discount clothing chain Fast Retailing has thrived amid the downturn. Company is expanding its Uniqlo brand stores abroad in a bid to turn itself into a global name. Plans more than 30 new overseas outlets in 2009. Shifting production away from China to lower-wage Cambodia to keep prices low.

2 Kunio Busujima

Kunio Busujima

His NET WORTH $5.2 billion and SOURCE of Gaming at the age of 83.Founder of Sankyo, pachinko gambling-machine maker, stepped down as chairman in 2008; remains a director and senior adviser. Son Hideyuki is chairman and chief executive. Outfit has turned to comic book and movie characters like Star Wars' Darth Vader to help bolster sales. Nongamblers know company as sponsor of Sankyo Ladies Open golf tournament.

3 Hiroshi Yamauchi

Hiroshi Yamauchi

His NET WORTH $4.5 billion and SOURCE of Game Consoles at the age of 81.Turned playing card company Nintendo into world's most successful videogame console maker. Sales of the Nintendo Wii machine jumped 47% to 25 million units, outstripping Sony and Microsoft. Retired in 2005 but remains big shareholder.

4 Akira Mori

Akira Mori

His NET WORTH $4.2 billion and SOURCE of Real Estate at the age of 72. His Mori Trust owns office buildings, apartment blocks and hotels in high-rent districts of Tokyo. Recent projects: a 37-story office building outside Tokyo Station with Shangri-La Hotel; a tower in Sendai to be northern Japan's tallest when complete in 2010.

5 Masayoshi Son

Masayoshi Son

His NET WORTH $3.9 billion and SOURCE of Internet at he age of 51.Founder of Internet and telecom company SoftBank bet heavily on mobile phones by snapping up Japan's Vodafone unit. Company gained 2 million new subscribers in 2008 (more than rivals) but posted drop in net profits, in part because it's selling fewer handsets. Committed to paying lenders $14 billion from cash flow over next decade. Runs country's top Internet site, Yahoo Japan; partners with News Corp. on Japanese version of MySpace

6 Eitaro Itoyama

Eitaro Itoyama

His NET WORTH $3.7 billion and SOURCE of Golf Courses at the age of 66.Golf course magnate and blogging shareholder activist forced resignation of Japan Airlines' president 3 years ago. Sold shares in airline in favor of stake in broadcaster TV Tokyo, latest target of his online browbeating. Claims to have sailed his 150-foot yacht around the world 3 times.

7 Hiroshi Mikitani

Hiroshi Mikitani

His NET WORTH $3.6 billion and SOURCE of Internet at the age of 44. Internet entrepreneur runs Japan's leading online shopping mall Rakuten. Battling Amazon by expanding items available for next-day deliveries. Plans to set up shop in 27 countries over next 4 years, beginning in Taiwan. Broadcasting play thwarted last year when Tokyo Broadcasting System, in which he has 20% stake, reorganized itself under a holding company.

8 Nobutada Saji

Nobutada Saji

His NET WORTH $3.5 billion and SOURCE of Beverages at the age of 63.Suntory, drinks giant established by his grandfather, overtook its nearest competitor, Sapporo, in 2008 sales. In October purchased New Zealand soft-drink maker Frucor for a reported $770 million. Arts patron runs major Tokyo gallery. Avid swimmer also operates chain of gyms

9 Hiroko Takei


His NET WORTH $2.8 billion and SOURCE Finance at the age of 67. Founder of consumer finance company Takefuji. Son Taketeru is a managing director of firm. Family wisely sold bulk of shares a couple of years ago but still holds stake in lender.

10 Takemitsu Takizaki

Takemitsu Takizaki

His NET WORTH $2.4 billion and SOURCE Sensors @ the age of 63.Founder of Keyence, leading maker of sensors. Company pays engineers more than $100,000 on average to attract industry's best talent, but personal items such as photographs are banned from employees' work spaces. Source:Forbes


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