The tycoon who owns the world's two most expensive paintings was Japan's biggest individual taxpayer in 1990, the tax agency announced this week.

It said Ryouei Saito contributed about $22.6 million to the national coffers.Saito, 79, honorary chairman of Daishowa Paper Manufacturing, became liable for the huge bill after selling land in Tokyo's glitzy Ginza district, Japan's most expensive, and some of his Daishowa stock, Japanese media reported.

He sold the assets to help pay for Pierre Auguste Renoir's "Au Moulin de la Galette," which he bought for $78.1 million, and Vincent Van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet," which he bought for $82.5 million, both last May.