Mr. Tsutsumi Has Lost $23 Billion Since 2003

:o TOKYO, April 14 (AFP) - Japanese billionaireYoshiaki Tsutsumi, a special member of the InternationalOlympic Committee (IOC), said Wednesday he intended toremain as his country’s sports supremo despite resigningfrom his scandal-hit railway firm.
At this point in time, I don't believe that this(affair) will hinder my assistance related to sports,''Tsutsumi told a news conference after quitting aschairman of Seibu Railway Co. over a pay-off scandal. The resort and railway tycoon, known as a confidant offormer IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch, serves ashonorary president of the Japanese Olympic Commitee andowns the country's popular professional baseball clubSeibu Lions. Tsutsumi, 69, also heads the Skiing Association ofJapan and is honorary president of the Japan Ice HockeyFederation. Tsutsumi, once listed as the world's richest man byForbes magazine, said he would continue in his unpaidpost with the Japanese Olympic body unless requested tostep down. Since it is what I do as a volunteer, I will do itif it is called for and I will quit if they think itbetter for me to quit,’’ Tsutsumi said. I don't intendto tender resignation myself.'' Tsutsumi's name is inscribed on the wall of the11-year-old Olympic Museum outside the IOC headquartersin Lausanne, as one of its major donors. He reportedlyraised more than 10 million dollars from Japanesecompanies for the museum project. He was elected a rare honour’’ member of the IOCduring the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000. There areonly four such IOC members, also including former USstate secretary Henry Kissinger, compared with 20honorary'' members. Tsutsumi said he would also stay on as chairman ofKokudo, which owns half of Seibu Railway, and retain thetop post in other privately held firms in his businessgroup, including the Prince Hotels chain. Four senior Seibu railway officials and three at itsreal-estate unit were arrested last month and chargedwith inducing racketeers not to disrupt a shareholders'meeting in June 2001 by arranging lucrative land dealsfor them. The billionaire, a scion of legendary pre-World War IIland developer Yasujiro Tsutumi, was instrumental inbringing the 1998 Winter Olympics to Nagano, a regionwhere he owned Olympic ski slopes as well as resorthotels. Forbes ranked the junior Tsutsumi as the world'swealthiest man in 1990 before the collapse of thebubble economy’’ investment boom gradually reduced hisstanding.
Forbes said his net worth had since dwindled from 16billion dollars to 2.4 billion dollars in 2003 in linewith Japan’s slumping real estate market.