Despite a $1 trillion stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to fight the fallout in the coronavirus, Japan is bracing for a downturn. With the announcement of a national emergency–and the delay in hosting the Olympic Games until the next year–companies are sure to have a hit.
That said, the nation’s 50 wealthiest have–so far–been comparatively unscathed, using their combined wealth down just 5 percent to $168 billion since we measured their fortunes. Though the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index fell more than 11 %, over precisely the same period the yen has strengthened slightly against the dollar.
In all, just over half28–listees saw their net worth decline. Retail magnate Tadashi Yanai’s riches soared by $2.6 billion, even though he remains the nation’s wealthiest for the second consecutive season with a $22.3 billion fortune. Following the outbreak, Yanai’s Fast Retailing closed stores in China (many are now reopened) followed by store closures in the U.S. and Europe. Fast Retailing is also currently giving away 10 million masks across the world.
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SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son took the largest hit in dollar terms, following the IPO of office-sharing company WeWork, where SoftBank is the largest shareholder, unraveled last September. Son’s net worth fell by $3.5 billion to $20.5 billion, however he held onto the No. 2 spot. To allay investor concerns about the investments of SoftBank, Son announced a $41 billion asset purchase.
Pachinko mogul Kazuo Okada, creator of Universal Entertainment, saw the largest drop in percentage terms. His riches dropped 42% to $1.19 billion. Overall there are 38 bundles worth more or $ 1 billion on the list, seven.
Seventeen listees managed to boost their riches, led by Takemitsu Takizaki. The founder of Keyence, a maker of detectors, added $1.2 billion to his fortune, currently at $19.8 billion. Another big gainer was Masahiro Noda, founder of IT systems integrator Obic, whose fortune rose by a third to $3.14 billion monitoring the 32% increase in Obic shares.
The listing had three new entrants, including Shigefumi Wada, cofounder of listed business solutions software supplier Obic Business Consultants (in which Noda’s firm is an investor). The wealthiest newcomer, in $3.3 billion, is Yoshio Tsuchiya, whose listed apparel retailer Workman makes and sells clothes and other gear for construction and factory workers. The next is Masaru Wasami, founder of logistics outfit Maruwa Unyu Kikan, which has Amazon among its customers.
A few former listers returned to the ranks: Hirokazu Sugiura, creator of drugstore chain Sugi Holdings. Yoji Sato, whose Dynam Japan Holdings is among the country’s largest pachinko operators, just made the cut using a net worth of $810 million. A tech fortune formerly listed under Minoru and Yuji Otsukais now listed under son Yuji, after his father Minoru’s passing last September. Yusaku Maezawa, the creator of internet retailer Zozo, sold the majority of his holding in Zozo into Yahoo Japan last September but still retains a minority stake, thus his source of wealth remains listed as Zozo. Five dropped from the ranks.
The listing was compiled using information from the people, stock analysts, markets, company filings and other sources. By using financial ratios as well as other comparisons with comparable traded businesses, companies were appreciated. Fortunes often include assets. Net worths were based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on April 10, 2020 and in some cases differ from your net worths that appear on the World’s Billionaires listing, which utilized inventory prices from March 18, 2020.