Thursday, 08 May, 2008 Current Events
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Ex-Chairman of Nintendo Officially Became Japan's Wealthiest Businessperson

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Hiroshi Yamauchi, who is also known as the ex-chairman of Nintendo, has officially been announced by the Forbes as Japan's richest man. It is worth mentioning that he started as a maker of playing cards and ended up as the chairman of one of the most famous videogame makers in 2005. He still remains the company's main shareholder.

After the profit boost of Nintendo DS and Wii, the capital of Mr. Yamauchi reached $7.8 billion. In 2007 his net worth climbed to the figure of $3 billion, which is mainly the result of impressive sales of the Wii. The second place is held by Akira Mori, who is a property developer. He was last year's wealthiest businessperson. Now with $2.2 billion he comes second.

The richest businesspersons from the gaming industry also include Kazuo Okada, the founder of Aruze, at 12th position, Yasuhiro Fukushima, the founder of Enix at 25th position, Kagemasa Kozuki, chairman of Konami, at 34th position, Hajime Satomi, at Sega Sammy, at 36th position, and the founders of Koei, who are husband and wife Keiko and Yoichi Erikawa at 39th position.

The list of the richest people in Japan consists mainly of males most of them being aged. Their average age is 66. There are only three women among 40 Japan's wealthiest people: Hiroko Takei - she inherited business from her husband; Chizuko Matsui - her husband turned the brokerage firm of her grandfather into a successful online securities firm; and Keiko Erikawa -she is currently the chairman of videogame developer Koei, and is also the only female who made her fortune by cooperating with her husband, both having a $720 million fortune.

The 40 businesspeople are worth $89.9 billion. This figure increased by $10.7 billion since 2007.

Three ex-billionaires came back and were mentioned in the list as well. These include the construction tycoon Katsumi Tada; Minoru Mori, who is currently constructing Shanghai's biggest tower; and Kagemasa Kozuki, the chairman of Konami, a gaming company that develops videogames for Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox. The youngest in the list is 32-year-old Kenji Sahara, the chairman of Mixi.

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