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"Forbes': Japanese hotelier richest

Published Oct. 9, 2005

This year's richest individual: a Japanese hotel and railroad baron worth at least $9-billion.

Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, 59, ranks first in Forbes magazine's annual listing of the world's billionaires. The Walton family of Wal-Mart stores was the world's richest family, worth $25.3-billion, Forbes said in its July 5 edition.

Forbes surveyed 311 individuals or families worldwide with a net worth of at least $1-billion each. They have a combined wealth of $636-billion.

Tsutsumi, with interest in hotels, railroads and the Seibu Lions baseball team, is worth $9-billion through his 40 percent stake in the holding company Kokudo, the magazine said.

But Forbes quoted unidentified sources as saying Tsutsumi owns all of Kokudo, making him worth $22.5-billion.

American billionaires made up one-third of the list. The Walton family, which owns 38 percent of Wal-Mart, added $1.5-billion to its pile in the last year.

Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates was the country's richest individual, worth $7.4-billion.

Here is the rest of the magazine's top 10 billionaires:

Mars family, $9.2-billion, United States.

Du Pont family, $8.6-billion, United States.

Minoru and Akira Mori and family, $7.5-billion, Japan.

Donald E. and Samuel I. Newhouse Jr., $7-billion, United States.

Robert, Sid, Lee and Edward Bass, $6.8-billion, United States.

Warren E. Buffett, $6.6-billion, United States.

Erivan Haub, $6.2-billion, Germany.