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# 279 Yasumitsu Shigeta $6.53B

Random fact: Dropped out of college to start his own business.


Shigeta is the founder and chairman of Hikari Tsushin, a Japanese retailer that sells mobile phones, office automation products and insurance plans. The Tokyo-based company operates almost 2,000 mobile phone stores and reported revenue of 484.4 billion yen ($4.4 billion) in the year to March 31, 2019.

As of :
Last change +$21.7M ( +0.3%)
YTD change -$763M ( -10.5%)
Industry Media & Telecom
Biggest asset 9435 JP Equity
Citizenship Japan
Age 54
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Yasumitsu Shigeta's net worth of $6.53B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Shigeta's wealth comes from a 40 percent stake in Hikari Tsushin, a publicly traded retailer that sells mobile phones, office automation products and insurance plans. The Tokyo-based company has almost 2,000 retail phone shops across Japan, according to an August 2018 financial results statement. 

Shigeta holds shares in Hikari Tsushin directly, through a 87 percent stake in Tokyo-based holding company Hikari Power, and with his wife and children, according to the company's December 2018 corporate governance report. Shares held by his family are credited to Shigeta to reflect his status as founder and chairman. Pledged shares have been excluded from the calculation of his net worth.

Through Hikari Power, he has invested in more than 120 publicly traded companies, mostly in the U.S. The most valuable of these investments are Hikari Tsushin and a less than 1 percent stake in Berkshire Hathaway, according to an April 2019 filing to the SEC. The rest of these holdings -- Hikari Power Other Assets -- are valued collectively based on the April 2019 filing.

He also directly holds a 7.3 percent interest in software company JustSystems Corp, according to its 2018 corporate governance report, and 2.6 percent of medical equipment manufacturer Techno Medica Co., according to its 2018 governance report.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes, charitable contributions and market performance.

Akihiro Sueyoshi, a spokesman for Hikari Tsushin, didn't respond to requests for comment on the net worth.


Birthdate: 2/25/1965
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: Nihon University

Yasumitsu Shigeta was born in Tokyo in 1965. He went to Tokyo-based Nihon University but dropped out after three months. He founded Hikari Tshushin in 1988 as a company that offers telecom-equipment leasing and long-distance phone services. 

The company started to take off following de-regulation of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, the former state-owned monopoly. Hikari Tsushin acted as a distributor for new telecom companies that sprouted up in the wake of the breakup and soon set up "Hit Shops," a chain of franchised mobile phone stores, to sell new phones from the company. The number of Hit Shops across Japan reached 2,200 in 2000. Shigeta used capital from this profitable retail market for phones to invest in other companies and tied his company's future to the internet. He'd invested in 70 internet ventures in Japan by 2000, China and the U.S., including SoftBank.

Shigeta made the record of the youngest CEO of a public company when Hikari Tsushin went public in 1996 but suffered a reversal during the technology crash four years later. Hikari Tsushin shares, which hit 241,000 yen ($2,280) in mid-February of 2000, had lost 90 percent of value in less than three months to trade at 21,800 yen in April. 

When the internet bubble burst in the early 2000s, Shigeta's venture investments collapsed, while Bungei Shunju, a monthly Japanese magazine, reported in February 2000 that the company had inflated its sales figures.

Shigeta came up with restructuring plans for the businesses by April 2000, closing half the retail stores and selling off Hikari Tsushin's subsidiaries and investments. Today, Hikari Tsushin sells mobile phones, office automation products and insurance plans.

  • 1965 Shigeta is born in Tokyo.
  • 1988 Shigeta founds Hikari Tsushin.
  • 1996 Initial public offering for Hikari Tsushin.
  • 1999 Hikari Tsushin's mobile phone chain outlets total 1,800.
  • 2000 Shigeta announces Hikari Tsushin's restructuring plan.
  • 2001 Hikari Tsushin's number of employees exceeds 10,000 nationwide.
  • 2006 Hikari insurance call center employees hit 3,000.
  • 2007 Company's mobile phone outlets exceed 1,000.