Yomiuri Shimbun

Yomiuri Shimbun

First issue on 2 November 1874
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Yomiuri Group
Founded 1874
Political alignment conservative[1]
Headquarters Otemachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
Circulation 10,021,000 (2010)
Website www.yomiuri.co.jp
Typical page 1 of Yomiuri-Shimbun newspaper
Yomiuri Shimbun Tokyo Headquarters (読売新聞東京本社)
Former Yomiuri Shimbun headquarters (now demolished) in Tokyo
Yomiuri Shimbun Osaka Office
Yomiuri Shimbun Fukuoka Office

The Yomiuri Shimbun (読売新聞 Yomiuri Shinbun) is a Japanese newspaper published in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and other major Japanese cities.[2] It is part of the Yomiuri Group, Japan's largest media conglomerate.[3] It is one of the five national newspapers in Japan; the other four are the Asahi Shimbun, the Mainichi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, and the Sankei Shimbun. The headquarters is in Otemachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo.[4]

Founded in 1874,[5] the Yomiuri Shimbun is credited with having the largest newspaper circulation in the world,[6][7] having a combined morning and evening circulation of 14,323,781 through January 2002. In 2010, the daily was the number one in the list of the world's biggest selling newspapers with a circulation of 10,021,000.[8] As of mid-year 2011, it still had a combined morning-evening circulation of almost 13.5 million for its national edition.[9] The paper is printed twice a day and in several different local editions.

Yomiuri Shimbun established the Yomiuri Prize in 1948. Its winners have included Yukio Mishima and Haruki Murakami.


The Yomiuri was launched in 1874 by the Nisshusha newspaper company as a small daily newspaper. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s the paper came to be known as a literary arts publication with its regular inclusion of work by writers such as Ozaki Kōyō.

In 1924, Shoriki Matsutaro took over management of the company. His innovations included improved news coverage, a full-page radio program guide, and the establishment of Japan's first professional baseball team (now known as the Yomiuri Giants).

The emphasis of the paper shifted to broad news coverage aimed at readers in the Tokyo area. By 1941 it had the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the Tokyo area. In 1942, under wartime conditions, it merged with the Hochi Shimbun and became known as the Yomiuri-Hochi.

The Yomiuri was the center of a labor scandal in 1945 and 1946. In October, 1945, a postwar "democratization group" called for the removal of Shoriki Matsutaro, who had supported Imperial Japan's policies during World War II. When Shoriki responded by firing five of the leading figures of this group, the writers and editors performed the first "production control" strike on October 27, 1945. This method of striking became an important union tactic in the coal, railroad, and other industries during the postwar period. The Yomiuri employees continued to produce the paper without heeding executive orders until a police raid on June 21, 1946.[10]

In February 2009, tie-up with The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for edit, printing and distribution, then from March the major news headlines of the WSJ's Asian edition are summarized in the evening edition in Japanese.

It features the Jinsei Annai advice column.

The Yomiuri has a history of promoting nuclear power within Japan. During the 1950s Matsutaro Shoriki, the head of the Yomiuri, agreed to use his newspaper to promote nuclear power in Japan for the CIA.[11] In May 2011, when the then Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan requested Chubu Electric Power Company to shut down several of its Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plants due to safety concerns, the Yomiuri responded with criticism, calling the move "abrupt" and a difficult situation for Chubu Electric's shareholders. It wrote Kan "should seriously reflect on the way he made his request."[12] It then followed up with an article wondering about how dangerous Hamaoka really was and called Kan's request "a political judgment that went beyond technological worthiness."[13] The next day damage to the pipes inside the condenser was discovered at one of the plants following a leak of seawater into the reactor.[14]

In 2012, the paper reported that agricultural minister Nobutaka Tsutsui had divulged secret information to a Chinese agricultural enterprise. Tsutsui sued Yomiuri Shimbun for libel, and was awarded 3.3 million yen in damages in 2015 on the basis that the truth of the allegations could not be confirmed.[15]

In November 2014 the newspaper became controversial, forced to apologize for referencing to the euphemistically named 'comfort women'.[16][17][18]

Political stance

The Yomiuri Shimbun is conservative and sometimes considered a centre-right newspaper.[1][19]

The Yomiuri newspaper said in an editorial in 2011 "No written material supporting the claim that government and military authorities were involved in the forcible and systematic recruitment of comfort women has been discovered", and that it regarded the Asian Women's Fund, set up to compensate for wartime abuses, as a failure based on a misunderstanding of history.[20] The New York Times reported on similar statements previously, writing that "The nation's (Japan's) largest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, applauded the revisions" regarding removing the word "forcibly" from referring to laborers brought to Japan in the prewar period and revising the comfort women controversy.[21] More recently the Yomiuri editorials have opposed the DPJ government and denounced denuclearization as "not a viable option".[22]

Other publications and ventures

Yomiuri also publishes The Japan News (formerly called The Daily Yomiuri),[23] one of Japan's largest English-language newspapers. It publishes the daily Hochi Shimbun, a sport-specific daily newspaper, as well as weekly and monthly magazines and books.

Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings owns the Chuokoron-Shinsha publishing company, which it acquired in 1999, and the Nippon Television network. It is a member of the Asia News Network. The paper is known as the de facto financial patron of the baseball team Yomiuri Giants. They also sponsor the Japan Fantasy Novel Award annually. It has been a sponsor of the FIFA Club World Cup every time it has been held in Japan since 2006.

Digital resources

In November 1999, The Yomiuri Shimbun released a CD-ROM titled "The Yomiuri Shimbun in the Meiji Era," which provided searchable archives of news articles and images from the period that have been digitalized from microfilm. This was the first time a newspaper made it possible to search digitalized images of newspaper pictures and articles as they appeared in print.

Subsequent CD-ROMs, "The Taisho Era", "The pre-war Showa Era I", and "The pre-war Showa era II" were completed eight years after the project was first conceived. "Postwar Recovery", the first part of a postwar Showa Era series that includes newspaper stories and images until 1960, is on the way.

The system of indexing each newspaper article and image makes the archives easier to search, and the CD-ROMs have been well received by users as a result. This digital resource is available in most major academic libraries in the United States.


1-7-1, Otemachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
5-9, Nozakicho, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan
1-16-5, Akasaka, Chūō-ku, Fukuoka, Japan

Yomiuri Group

The Yomiuri Group conglomerate comprises many entities, including:

See also


  1. 1 2 Brooke, James. "Japan Hopes to Use Aid to Press North Korea to End A-Bomb Plan." The New York Times. 19 October 2002. Retrieved 26 February 2009.
  2. Yomiuri printing factories (印刷工場) Archived August 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. Overview of Yomiuri Group Power Archived November 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. "組織体制 Archived August 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.." Yomiuri Shimbun. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
  5. John Horne (2005). "Sport and the Mass Media in Japan" (PDF). Sociology of Sport Journal. 22. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  6. World Association of Newspapers: World’s 100 Largest Newspapers Archived June 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., 2005
  7. Schell, Orville (1 January 2007). "Japan's war guilt revisited". WAN. Retrieved 31 December 2006.
  8. "The world's biggest selling newspapers". pressrun. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  9. newspaper circulation section for advertisers Archived November 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Cohen, Theodore (1987). "Chapter 13: Travail of a Newspaper: The Yomiuri Repels the Reds". Remaking Japan: The American Occupation as New Deal. New York: The Free Press. pp. 240–259.
  11. "Nuclear policy was once sold by Japan's media". The Japan Times. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  12. "Kan's Hamaoka request abrupt, poorly explained". The Daily Yomiuri. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  13. "FROM SQUARE ONE / How dangerous is Hamaoka?". The Daily Yomiuri. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  14. "読売新聞に損害賠償命令 元副大臣機密漏洩報道で". Nihon Keizai Shimbun. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  15. "Japan paper Yomiuri Shimbun retracts 'sex slaves' references". BBC News. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  16. "Japan Yomiuri Shimbun Apology Sex Slaves". nytimes.com. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  17. "Yomiuri, Japan's biggest newspaper, apologizes for using term 'sex slaves'". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  18. Fackler, Martin (2 Dec 2014). "Rewriting the War, Japanese Right Attacks a Newspaper". New York Times. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  19. The Daily Yomiuri. "Failure of Asian Women's Fund". 18 October 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  20. Norimitsu Onishi. "Japan's reach for future runs up against the past". The New York Times. 7 April 2005.
  21. The Yomiuri Shimbun. "Denuclearization is not a viable option". 21 August 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012
  22. The Yomiuri Shimbun. "Message to our readers". The Japan News. Retrieved 8 February 2015.

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