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Nintendo icon is Japan's richest man

The retired former president Hiroshi Yamauchi is now worth USD 7.8 billion thanks to strong Wii and DS sales

Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man who steered Nintendo's fortunes as company president from 1949 to 2002, and who only left the board of directors in mid-2005, has been named as the richest man in Japan.

According to the latest Forbes list Yamauchi's fortune has increased by USD 3 billion over last year, when he was second on the list, to sit now at USD 7.8 billion.

His fortune has been bolstered significantly by the stellar sales of Wii consoles in the past 18 months, as well as continuing strong sales of the DS - and software for both platforms.

The top 40 people on the list are worth a total of USD 89.9 billion, an increase of USD 10.7 billion from last year, apparently helped by the strengthening Yen.

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