The man named by Forbes magazine as the world's richest man is also a key player with the Japanese city competing with Salt Lake City for the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Forbes said the world's wealthiest person for the fourth straight year was Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, 56, of Japan. His railroad and real estate empire, which includes golf courses, ski resorts and hotels, was estimated at $16 billion, up about $1 billion from last year.A week and a half ago, Soichiro Yoshida, chairman of the Nagano, Japan, Olympic Bid Committee visiting Salt Lake City, said that Tsutsumi was still serving as an honorary chairman of the city's bid committee, despite his recent resignation as head of the Japan Olympic ComContinued from A1
Sport Intern, an international sports newsletter, said while the official reason given by Tsutsumi for resigning was blunders at the 1990 Asian Winter Games, the real reason was the links between his commercial interests and the Nagano bid. Tsutsumi owns a ski resort that is proposed at the Alpine skiing venue.
Sport Intern also reported that Tsutsumi will continue to serve on the Japan Olympic Committee directorate until next March.
The Forbes' estimate of Tsutsumi's wealth was far greater than that of rival business magazine Fortune, which put Tsutsumi's net worth at $3.1 billion last September.
Fortune said the world's richest person is the Sultan of Brunei, at $25 billion. Forbes excludes heads of state and royal families from consideration because their wealth "derives more from political heritage than from economic effort."
The list includes 40 Japanese individuals or families.
Following the Tsutsumi on the Forbes list was Japanese developer Taikichiro Mori, a former economics professor who owns 78 office buildings. Forbes put his net worth at $14.6 billion.
Ranked third was the family of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, the third-largest U.S. retail chain. Forbes estimates that the Waltons, who also were third last year, are worth $13.3 billion, up from $8.7 billion in 1989.
America's du Pont family was fourth, with a net worth estimated at $10 billion. They were followed by Hans and Gad Rausing, two Swedish brothers who control a packaging empire worth $9.6 billion.
Here are other billionaires on the list, with their home nation, business and estimated personal net worth:.
6. Kitaro Watanabe, Japan, real estate, $9.2 billion.
7. Reichmann brothers, (Paul, Albert, Ralph), Canada, real estate, investments, $9 billion.
8. Kenkichi Nakajima, Japan, pachinko machines, $8.4 billion.
9. Shin Kyuk-ho, Korea, candy, real estate, $7 billion to $8 billion.
10. Forrest E. Mars and family, United States, candy, $6 billion.
11. Eitaro Itoyama, Japan, land, $5.8 billion.
12. John Werner Kluge, United States, media, real estate, $5.2 billion.
13. Samuel I. and Donald E. Newhouse, United States, publishing, $5.2 billion.
14. Erivan Haub, Germany, supermarkets, $5 billion-plus.
15. Haruhiko Yoshimoto and family, Japan, real estate, $5 billion-plus.
16. Bass family (Robert, Lee, Sid, Edward), United States, oil, investments, $5 billion.
17. Brenninkmeyer family, Holland, retailing, $5 billion.
18. Barbara Cox Anthony and Anne Cox Chambers, United States, inheritance, $5 billion.
19. Kenneth Colin Irving and family, Canada, oil distribution, paper, land, $5 billion.
20. Yohachiro Iwasaki, Japan, logging, property, resorts, $5 billion.
21. Quandt family, Germany, autos, industry, $5 billion.
22. Kenneth Roy Thomson, Canada, publishing, retailing, $5 billion.