The Japanese culture is well known for their warriors, art forms and the importance they give to loyalty and respect. Today it is a country which has shown great developing in every field and yet hasn’t forgotten their roots and the culture which comes with it. Some attribute their success to these values that they hold so dear.
Though a small island nation which has seen their share of devastation, the Japanese have shown their skills business, technology, education and science.
Though many have seen much success in this country, there are a few who are the elite. These individuals have made themselves into unstoppable juggernauts and show no sign of slowing down. Every Japanese citizen on this list has been on the Forbes top richest list at least once in their lifetime which goes to show the recognition they have accumulated. Following is a list of the top 10 richest people in Japan in 2019.
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- 10. Masahiro Miki ($3.65 billion)
- 9. Masatoshi Ito ($3.7 billion)
- 8. Hideyuki Busujima ($4.2billion)
- 7. Akira Mori ($4.4Billion)
- 6. Keiichiro Takahara ($4.5 billion)
- 5. Hiroshi Mikitani ($6.1 billion)
- 4. Takemitsu Takizaki ($12.5Billion)
- 3. Nobutada Saji ($13.2billion)
- 2. Tadashi Yanai ($16.4 billion)
- 1. Masayoshi Son ($20.4 billion)
10. Masahiro Miki ($3.65 billion)
This 32-year-old businessman is the president and now the chairman of ABC-mart, one of the biggest shoe retail stores in Japan. This company also has some impressive subsidiaries like LaCrosse. This self-made retailer started his career in retail in 1979 and eventually began ABC-Mart in 1985.
9. Masatoshi Ito ($3.7 billion)
This is an old-timer on this list who owns Ito-Yakado, the second largest retailing group in the world. Masatoshi Ito, through his company, owns about ten thousand 7-Eleven’s in Japan and the US. Ito had a close friendship with Dr.Peter Drucker who moulded the way business is conducted among corporations today. He has credited Dr Drucker with much of his success, which the doctor has continually declined.
8. Hideyuki Busujima ($4.2billion)
Hideyuki Busujima is the son of the founder of Sankyo, Kunio Busujima. Sankyo is one of the three topmost pachinko machine makers in Japan. Pachinko machines resemble a Pinball arcade game in the sense that tiny ball bearings type balls are used to play the game, but it also has elements of gambling as the balls are the object and the reward of the game. Hideyuki has been the chairman of the company since 2008 and his father gave him all his shares in 2014.
7. Akira Mori ($4.4Billion)
Akira Mori’s father Taikochiro Mori started Mori Building in 1959. Today Akira Mori is the president and Chief Executive Officer of Mori Trust which is a part of Mori Building. They are mainly involved with real estate development in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. Akira and his brother Minoru inherited the company after the death of their father in 1993. Because of a falling out between them, they split and Mori Buildings is managed by Akira whereas Mori Buildings is managed by Minoru.
6. Keiichiro Takahara ($4.5 billion)
Keiichiro Takahara is the chairman and founder of the disposable hygiene product company Unicharm Corporation. They mainly specialise in diapers for babies and adult incontinence, female hygiene products and pet care products. Brands like Mamypoko and Soft come under them. Today his son Takahisa is the CEO of Unicharm Corporation.
5. Hiroshi Mikitani ($6.1 billion)
Hiroshi Mikitaniis the chairman, CEO and founder of the Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc. it is one of the world’s largest e-commerce site and the largest in Japan which caused it to be called the ‘Amazon of Japan’. Hiroshi has a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School who also awarded him an Alumni Achievement Award. Other than Rakuten, Mikatani also sits on boards of organisations like Lyft, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and the football team Rakuten Vissel Kobe. He has also written many books on how to succeed in the game of business.
4. Takemitsu Takizaki ($12.5Billion)
Takemitsu Takizaki is the founder and honorary chairman of Keyence, a Japan-based electronics company. Though the company doesn’t manufacture the final product, it is responsible for producing parts for bar code readers, measurement equipment, digital microscopes, automation sensors and laser markers. This company has been a public favourite, having been listed in the ‘Top Ten most excellent companies in Japan list’ in the Nikkei, which is a major financial newspaper.
3. Nobutada Saji ($13.2billion)
Nobutada Saji is the CEO of Suntory Ltd which is a major brewery and food manufacturers in Japan. He was listed as the richest man in Japan by Forbes in 2004 but was later downgraded in 2012. Suntory is the oldest company dealing with alcohol in Japan, having started in 1899 by Nobutada’s grandfather. As his grandson, Nobutada inherited the company in 2001. Though they started with Japanese whisky the company has recently diversified in soft drinks and sandwich chains.
2. Tadashi Yanai ($16.4 billion)
Tadashi Yanai is the founder and president of Fate Retailing which is a retail holding company in Japan. He had his beginnings by working IN JISCO selling men’s wear and kitchenware. After quitting his job he worked for his father’s tailor shop eventually opening the first men’s wear shop which will soon come to know as Fast Retailing. Its major subsidiary is Uniqlo which is a men’s apparel wear in Japan and many other countries. As of 2005, Fate Retailing owns all the shares of Uniqlo. Many other American brands like Theory, J Brand and GU come under Fast Retailing. He has written two books and has been included in Bloomberg Market Magazine’s top 50 most influential list.
1. Masayoshi Son ($20.4 billion)
The richest man in Japan is also known for having lost the most money, a record $70 Billion during the dot-com crash. But none of his downfalls stopped Son. He is the founder and chairman of Soft Bank, chairman of Soft Bank Mobiles and chairman of Sprint Corporation. The soft bank is a large company primarily dealing telecommunications products but which also has its interests in marketing, finance and semiconductor technology. While Soft Bank is in Japan, Son has his roots all the way in the US with Sprint Corporation who are the fourth largest network provider in the country. His company has had dealings with companies like Yahoo! and Vodafone owning some number of shares in them.
Son has also donated for the support of the 2011 tsunami victims and has invested in alternative power sources like solar energy.
Japan has shown much growth in recent years and is showing no sign of slowing down. With a collaboration of years and years of tradition and today’s developments, the country has given us some highly innovative individuals who have been able to climb the ladder to become the elite.