The Korea Herald


[Graphic News] Korean, Japanese billionaires acquire wealth differently

By Seo Jee-yeon

Published : May 1, 2013 - 20:58

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Most of Korea’s billionaires accumulated their wealth through inheritance, while the Japanese superrich built up their wealth by creating their own business, according to a recent survey by CEO Score, a local online corporate management evaluator.

In the survey of the top 50 richest people in Korea and Japan based on their stock ownership, 78 percent of Korea’s richest are second and third generation chaebol chiefs. In contrast, 60 percent of the top 50 richest Japanese are entrepreneurs.

In Korea, Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee, the third son of Samsung Group founder Lee Byung-chull, is the richest man with $10.7 billion in stocks, followed by Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo and his eldest son, Hyundai Motor vice president Chung Eui-sun, with $5.1 billion and $2 billion worth of shareholdings, respectively.

Uniqlo chairman Tadashi Yanai is the richest in Japan with $15.5 billion in stocks. Suntory chairman Nobutada Saji and Softbank chairman Masayoshi Son are ranked second and third with $10.7 billion and $9.1 billion worth of shareholdings, respectively.

By Seo Jee-yeon (