Former Governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara Passed Away at 89 — National Taxation Bureau will enter into an Inheritance Investigation | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Former Governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara Passed Away at 89 — National Taxation Bureau will enter into an Inheritance Investigation

The National Tax Agency is curious about the whereabouts of his Denenchofu home, paintings, stocks and other assets.

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The four brothers with Shintaro’s coffin. In light of Corona, the funeral was held in secret, but Mr. Shintaro said he hoped to hold a farewell party.

Will the four sons of the great writer of the Showa era, whom he doted on, be able to do things with “riches and no quarrels”?

On April 5, a farewell ceremony was held at the home of Shintaro Ishihara, a writer and former governor of Tokyo who passed away on April 1 at the age of 89. The four brothers, Nobuteru, Yoshizumi, Hirotaka, and Nobuhiro, carried the coffin into the hearse just after 3:00 p.m. at a private funeral attended by 20 people, including former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, a distant relative of Mr. Shintaro. At the end of the funeral, the four brothers lined up in front of the front door, and Nobuaki, the eldest son, gave a speech to end the family funeral.

Were there any discussions before his death?

After the loss of their father, the Ishihara family was faced with the question of how to inherit Shintaro’s estate. Mr. Shintaro was a million-selling author of such books as “A Japan That Can Say ‘No’ – A New Approach to Japan-U.S. Relations” and “My Brother,” and held a number of important political positions, including Commissioner of the Environment Agency and Minister of Transportation. His assets are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of yen.

He and his wife Noriko jointly owned a house in Denenchofu, which was valued at about 300 million yen for the land alone. The price of the Zushi villa they sold in 2002 is estimated to be about 300 million yen. Based on his annual income of more than 30 million yen and retirement allowance of more than 100 million yen, it is natural to assume that he had a considerable amount of financial assets such as cash and stocks. It will also be interesting to see what happens to the expensive paintings and artworks he owned.

If the legal share of Shintaro’s inheritance is calculated to be 1 billion yen, the four Ishihara brothers may have to pay tens of millions of yen in inheritance tax each. The National Tax Agency will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on the situation to see if the inheritance proceeds in a clean manner.

Former IRS investigator and tax accountant Hiroshi Matsushima says, “The family’s name recognition and the fact that the family has been in business for a long time are the most important factors.

It is highly likely that the National Tax Agency will investigate the Ishihara family’s inheritance, given the family’s high profile and the size of their expected assets. When Kunio Hatoyama, a member of the House of Representatives, passed away in 2004, an undeclared amount of 700 million yen was found, and the bereaved family was subject to an estimated additional tax of over 200 million yen. If the actual inheritance is large enough, the national tax will dig deeper to see if there are any errors in the calculation of the assessed value of the land or if the property is in the name of relatives. It is also important to know how much was discussed before death, such as leaving a will.

The “post-death procedures” of the Ishihara family are likely to be quite extensive.

From “FRIDAY” February 25, 2022 issue

  • PHOTO Shinji Hasuo

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