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Fortune of Japan’s 50 richest people grew by $249 billion amid pandemic

Fortune of Japan's 50 richest people grew by $249 billion amid pandemic

The cumulative wealth of Japan’s 50 wealthiest people surged by 48% over the past year despite the challenging economic times due to the coronavirus pandemic. The group accumulated an additional $249 billion amid the resumption of economic activities, The Japan Times reports.

The billionaires benefitted from export markets rebound alongside resurgence in the benchmark Nikkei Stock Average. According to the statement from Forbes Asia:

“After contracting nearly 5% in 2020, Japan’s economy remained on course for a strong recovery thanks to a rebound in exports and anticipation of the upcoming summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 54% from a year ago, shrugging off uncertainty from government-imposed measures in April to fight surging Covid-19 infections.”

Forbes notes that each of the top 50 wealthy individuals saw their fortune surpass the $1 billion mark. Top on the list is SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son, with a fortune amounting to $44.4 billion.

His wealth more than doubled after a successful initial public offering by companies SoftBank has invested in.

Fast Retailing Chairman and CEO Tadashi Yanai, behind the Uniqlo casual clothing chain, is second, with his wealth growing 90% to $42.0 billion.

The list also has new entrants like founder Itaru Tanimura of medical information portal provider M3 at position 40. Furthermore, cloud services Rakus founder Takanori Nakamura ranks in the 45th position.

Notably, billionaires who ran pachinko parlors dropped since their businesses were among the most hit by the pandemic. Tycoons whose fortune dropped include Chang-woo Han, who ranked 35 with a net worth of $1.69 billion. Others include Yoji Sato, who runs Dynam Japan Holdings.

America’s 10% richest people control 69% of household wealth

Our previous research also highlighted that the top wealthiest people in the U.S. had amassed more fortune, accounting for a significant share of the country’s cumulative household wealth. The findings show that about 10% of the United States upper-class account for 69.2% of the country’s total household wealth as of Q4 2020.

The research shows that the country’s top 1% richest controls a fortune of $38.91 trillion, translating to 31.4% of the entire household wealth. Another 9% of the rich account for 38.2% of the household wealth at $46.99 trillion.

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