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The Japan Times

The Japan Times
Sample page 1 of The Japan Times
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)News2u Holdings, Inc.
PublisherTakeharu Tsutsumi
EditorHiroyasu Mizuno
Staff writersApproximately 130
Founded22 March 1897; 127 years ago (22 March 1897)
HeadquartersTokyo, Japan
OCLC number21225620

The Japan Times is Japan's largest and oldest English-language daily newspaper.[1][2] It is published by The Japan Times, Ltd. (株式会社ジャパンタイムズ, Kabushiki gaisha Japan Taimuzu), a subsidiary of News2u Holdings, Inc. It is headquartered in the Kioicho Building (紀尾井町ビル, Kioicho Biru) in Kioicho, Chiyoda, Tokyo.[3][4]


Front page of the first issue of Japan Times, 22 March 1897

The Japan Times was launched by Motosada Zumoto [ja] on 22 March 1897, with the goal of giving Japanese people an opportunity to read and discuss news and current events in English to help Japan participate in the international community.[5]

In 1906, Zumoto was asked by Japanese Resident-General of Korea Itō Hirobumi to lead the English-language newspaper The Seoul Press. Zumoto closely tied the operations of the two newspapers, with subscriptions of The Seoul Press being sold in Japan by The Japan Times, and vice versa for Korea.[6][7] Both papers wrote critically of Korean culture and civilization, and advocated for Japan's colonial control over the peninsula in order to civilize the Koreans.[6][8]

The newspaper was independent of government control, but from 1931 onward, the paper's editors experienced mounting pressure from the Japanese government to submit to its policies. In 1933, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs appointed Hitoshi Ashida, former ministry official, as chief editor.[9]

During World War II, the newspaper served as an outlet for Imperial Japanese government communication and editorial opinion.[5] It was successively renamed The Japan Times and Mail (1918–1940) following its merger with The Japan Mail, The Japan Times and Advertiser (1940–1943) following its merger with The Japan Advertiser, and Nippon Times (1943–1956), before reverting to the Japan Times title in 1956.[10] The temporary change to Nippon Times occurred during the ban on English language sentiment during World War II-era Japan.[11]

Shintaro Fukushima (19071987) became president of The Japan Times in 1956. He sold some of the company's shares to Toshiaki Ogasawara (小笠原 敏晶 Ogasawara Toshiaki), who was chairman of Nifco, a manufacturer of automotive fasteners. Fukushima renounced management rights in 1983, after which Nifco acquired control of The Japan Times and brought about staff changes and alterations to the company's traditions established in 1897.[12] Ogasawara served as the chairman and publisher of The Japan Times until 2016,[13] when his daughter Yukiko Ogasawara (小笠原 有輝子 Ogasawara Yukiko) succeeded him as chairman of the company. She had previously served as the company's president from 2006 to 2012, when she was replaced by career Japan Times staffer Takeharu Tsutsumi.[3] Nifco sold The Japan Times to PR firm News2u Holdings, Inc. on 30 June 2017.[14]


The Japan Times publishes The Japan Times, The Japan Times On Sunday, The Japan Times Alpha (a bilingual weekly), books in English and Japanese. Staff at The Japan Times are represented by two unions, one of which is Tozen.[15]


The Japan Times, Ltd. publishes three periodicals: The Japan Times, an English-language daily broadsheet; The Japan Times Weekly, an English-language weekly in tabloid form;[16] and Shukan ST, also a weekly in tabloid form, targeted at Japanese readers learning the English language. Since 16 October 2013, The Japan Times has been printed and sold along with The New York Times International Edition.[17]


Printed stories from The Japan Times are archived online. The newspaper has a readers' forum and, since 2013, the website offers a section for readers' comments below articles. This came about during a redesign and redevelopment of the newspaper, using Responsive Web Design techniques so the site is optimised for all digital devices. The Japan Times has a social media presence on Twitter, and Facebook since 2007.


After being acquired by News2u, The Japan Times changed its editorial stance and contributor lineup as part of efforts to reduce criticism of the newspaper as an "anti-Japanese" outlet.[18] In November 2018, it was announced in an editor's note that subsequent articles would use the term "wartime laborers" rather than "forced labor", and "comfort women" would be referred to as "women who worked in wartime brothels, including those who did so against their will, to provide sex to Japanese soldiers", instead of the previously used "women who were forced to provide sex for Japanese troops before and during World War II."[19] The change drew immediate criticism from readers and employees, with particular concerns expressed over the paper's apparent alignment with the political positions of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.[20] In response to these criticisms, The Japan Times wrote in an article on 7 December 2018, "We must admit that the editorial note undermined the relationships of trust we have built with our readers, reporters and staff. I would like to apologize for the inconvenience", and denied criticism that it was in line with the intentions of the administration.[21]


  • Mark Brazil, Wild Watch nature columnist (1982–2015)[22]
  • Monty DiPietro, art critic
  • John Gauntner, Nihonshu columnist
  • John Gunning, sumo columnist
  • Don Maloney
  • Fume Miyatake, Women in Business columnist
  • Jean Pearce, community columnist
  • Ezra Pound, Italian correspondent
  • Dreux Richard, African community, investigative
  • Donald Richie, book, film critic
  • Elyse Rogers, Women in Business columnist
  • Mark Schilling, film critic
  • Robbie Swinnerton, Tokyo Food File columnist
  • Edward Seidensticker
  • Fred Varcoe, sports editor
  • Robert Yellin, Ceramic Scene columnist

See also


  1. ^ Yoshihara, Nancy (25 January 1990). "A Growing Japan Export: News : Media: The English-language Japan Times is expanding and revamping its overseas edition". Los Angeles Times.
  2. ^ "Media: The Japan Times". World Eye Reports. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b "ABOUT US: Company Outline". The Japan Times. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2018. Head Office: 14F Kioicho Bldg., 3-12 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0094
  4. ^ "ACCESS (map)". The Japan Times. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b Kamiya, Setsuko (13 August 2011). "Japan Times not just wartime mouthpiece". The Japan Times.
  6. ^ a b 정, 진석 (3 August 2020). "[제국의 황혼 '100년전 우리는'] [113] 일본의 선전매체 '서울 프레스'". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  7. ^ "서울프레스" [The Seoul Press]. Encyclopedia of Korean Culture (in Korean). Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  8. ^ Caprio, Mark E. (2011). "Marketing Assimilation: The Press and the Formation of the Japanese-Korean Colonial Relationship". The Journal of Korean Studies. 16 (1): 8–9. ISSN 0731-1613.
  9. ^ O'Connor, Peter (4 April 2007). "The Japan Times at War Time: Mouth piece or Moderator?". Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
  10. ^ "New Resource Available: Japan Times Archives (1897-2014) | Yale University Library". Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  11. ^ Ishii, Hayato (24 February 2015). "Wartime naval cadet recalls the twisted history of English in Japan". The Japan Times. Kyodo News. Archived from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  12. ^ "小野寺優・ニフコ社長--自動車用にとどまらず、工業用ファスナーを軸として切り口増やしたい" [Yu Onodera, President Nifco--I want to increase the number of cuts by using industrial fasteners as an axis, not only for automobiles]. Toyo Keizai. 26 April 2010.
  13. ^ "Japan Times honorary chairman and former publisher Toshiaki Ogasawara dies at 85". Japan Times Online. 5 December 2016.
  14. ^ Iwamoto, Kentaro (12 June 2017). "The Japan Times sold to Tokyo-based PR company". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Tozen". Tozen. 7 August 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
  16. ^ "English daily". The Japan Times Online. The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2011."English weekly". The Japan Times Online. The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  17. ^ ""The Japan Times / International New York Times" to launch tomorrow; commemorative event scheduled for Oct.23". The Japan Times (press release). 15 October 2013. Archived from the original on 21 July 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  18. ^ Saito, Mari; Miyazaki, Ami (24 January 2019). "'Fear' and 'favor' chill newsroom at storied Japanese paper". Reuters. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  19. ^ "South Korea's top court orders Mitsubishi Heavy to pay compensation for wartime labor". The Japan Times. 29 November 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  20. ^ McCurry, Justin (30 November 2018). "'Comfort women': anger as Japan paper alters description of WWII terms". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  21. ^ "ジャパンタイムズが慰安婦と採用担当者の「強制的な」表現に打ち負かされた理由" [Why The Japan Times was defeated by the "compulsory" expressions of comfort women and recruiters]. ITmedia. 13 December 2018. Archived from the original on 15 October 2020.
  22. ^ "Mark Brazil", Japan Times. Archived 21 July 2021 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 25 March 2017

Further reading

  • De Lange, William (2023). A History of Japanese Journalism: State of Affairs and Affairs of State. Toyo Press. ISBN 978-94-92722-393.
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The Japan Times
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