Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Lawmakers earned ¥26.57 million on average in 2018, up significantly from ¥24.12 million in the preceding year, according to reports released by both chambers of the Diet on Monday.
The surge in the average income is attributable to a profit of ¥1.66 billion earned by Jiro Hatoyama, a member of the House of Representatives, from the sale of unlisted shares he inherited.
Hatoyama, who belongs to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, was the top-earning lawmaker, posting a total of ¥1.74 billion in income. The average income of the lawmakers excluding Hatoyama stood at ¥24.1 million, down slightly from 2017.
The number of lawmakers with incomes exceeding ¥100 million stood unchanged at three.
Taichiro Motoe, an LDP lawmaker in the House of Councillors, was the second-highest earner, with income of ¥499.98 million including a share sale profit, followed by Lower House member Ichiro Aisawa of the LDP, with ¥311.66 million.
The average income stood at ¥27.58 million among Lower House members and ¥24.65 million among Upper House members.
Among the cabinet ministers excluding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, science and technology policy minister Takuya Hirai ranked top with income of ¥50.53 million, followed by Finance Minister Taro Aso, who concurrently serves as financial services minister and deputy prime minister at ¥37.11 million.
Abe, also LDP president, earned ¥40.28 million on the back of a ¥1.09 million increase in miscellaneous income, including from his television appearances related to the September 2018 LDP leadership election. He was 27th in the overall rankings.
By political party, the LDP alone saw the average income among member lawmakers surpass the overall average, at ¥30.16 million.
The opposition Democratic Party for the People and Social Democratic Party ranked second with ¥22 million and third with ¥21.46 million, respectively.
The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan came fifth with ¥21.32 million.