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Yomiuri Shimbun

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Yomiuri Shimbun
Front page of the Yomiuri Shimbun from July 17, 2006, following the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1695 two days prior
TypeDaily newspaper
FormatBlanket (54.6 by 40.65 centimeters (21.50 in × 16.00 in))
Owner(s)The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings
FoundedNovember 2, 1874; 149 years ago (1874-11-02)[1]
Political alignmentCenter-right[2] to right-wing[3]
Moderate conservative[5]
HeadquartersOtemachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
CirculationDecrease 7,044,225 (2021)[6]
First issue of Yomiuri Shimbun on November 2, 1874
Current headquarters of the Yomiuri Shimbun in Tokyo (読売新聞東京本社)
Former headquarters of the Yomiuri Shimbun in Tokyo, now demolished
The Yomiuri Shimbun's Osaka office
The Yomiuri Shimbun's Fukuoka office

The Yomiuri Shimbun (讀賣新聞/読売新聞) is a Japanese newspaper published in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and other major Japanese cities.[7] It is one of the five major newspapers in Japan; the other four are The Asahi Shimbun, the Chunichi Shimbun, the Mainichi Shimbun, and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. It is headquartered in Otemachi, Chiyoda, Tokyo.[8]

It is a newspaper that represents Tokyo and generally has a conservative orientation. It is one of Japan's leading newspapers, along with the Osaka-based liberal (Third Way) Asahi Shimbun and the Nagoya-based social democratic Chunichi Shimbun.

It is published by regional bureaus, all of them subsidiaries of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings, Japan's largest media conglomerate by revenue and the second largest media conglomerate by size behind Sony,[9][10] which is privately held by law and wholly owned by present and former employees and members of the Matsutarō Shōriki family. The Holdings has been part-owned by the family since Matsutarō Shōriki's purchase of the newspaper in 1924 (currently owning a total of 45.26% stock); despite its control, the family is not involved in its executive operations.

Founded in 1874,[11] the Yomiuri Shimbun is credited with having the largest newspaper circulation in the world as of 2019,[12][13] having a morning circulation of 7.0 million as of June 2021.[6] The paper is printed twice a day and in several different local editions.

The Yomiuri Shimbun established the Yomiuri Prize in 1949. 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 post-war "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 members of this group, the writers and editors launched the first "production control" strike on 27 October 1945. This method of striking became an important union tactic in the coal, railroad, and other industries during the postwar period. Shoriki Matsutaro was arrested in December 1945 as a Class-A war criminal and sent to Sugamo Prison. The Yomiuri's employees continued to produce the paper without heeding executive orders until a police raid on June 21, 1946.[14] The charges against Shoriki were dropped and he was released in 1948. According to research by Professor Tetsuo Arima of Waseda University on declassified documents stored at NARA, he agreed to work with the CIA as an informant.[15][16]

In February 2009, the Yomiuri entered into a tie-up with The Wall Street Journal for editing, printing and distribution. Since March 2009 the major news headlines of the Journal's Asian edition have been summarized in Japanese in the evening edition of the Yomiuri.

The Yomiuri features an advice column, Jinsei Annai.

The Yomiuri has a history of promoting nuclear power in Japan.[17] In May 2011, when Naoto Kan, then Prime Minister of Japan, asked the Chubu Electric Power Company to shut down several of its Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plants due to safety concerns, the Yomiuri called the request "abrupt" and a difficult situation for Chubu Electric's shareholders. It wrote that Kan "should seriously reflect on the way he made his request."[18] It then followed up with an article wondering how dangerous Hamaoka really was and called Kan's request "a political judgment that went beyond technological worthiness."[19] 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.[20]

In 2012, the paper reported that Nobutaka Tsutsui, the Minister for Agriculture, had divulged secret information to a Chinese enterprise. Tsutsui sued the 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.[21]

In November 2014, the newspaper apologized after using the phrase "sex slave" to refer to comfort women, following its criticism of the Asahi Shimbun's coverage of Japan's World War II comfort women system.[22][23][24][clarification needed]

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.[25] 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 pre-war period and revising the comfort women controversy.[26] Yomiuri editorials have also opposed the DPJ government and denounced denuclearization as "not a viable option".[27]

Other publications and ventures[edit]

Yomiuri also publishes The Japan News (formerly called The Daily Yomiuri),[28] one of Japan's largest English-language newspapers.[citation needed] 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.

From 1949 through 1963, the newspaper sponsored the Yomiuri Indépendant Exhibition, an unjuried annual art exhibition which gave rise to avant-garde and contemporary rising artists.

Digital resources[edit]

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 Taishō 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 Shōwa 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.


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

Yomiuri Group[edit]

The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings
Native name
Kabushiki gaisha Yomiuri Shimbun Gurūpu Honsha
Company typePrivate (Kabushiki gaisha)
IndustryMass media
PredecessorThe Yomiuri Shimbun Company
Founded1 July 2002; 22 years ago (2002-07-01)
FounderMatsutarō Shōriki (for the modern Yomiuri Shimbun)
HeadquartersŌtemachi, ,
Area served
  • Shōriki family (45.26% directly and indirectly)
  • Employee shares (34.32%)
  • The Yomiuri Light and Humanity Association (9.79%)
Number of employees
4,399 (2021)

The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings (株式会社読売新聞グループ本社, KK Yomiuri Shimbun Gurūpu Honsha, "Yomiuri Shimbun Group Headquarters") conglomerate comprises many entities, including:

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Officially six, when combined with the Holdings itself.


  1. ^ "紙面の変遷、世相を映す". The Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  2. ^ Patrick Finney (2010). Remembering the Road to World War Two: International History, National Identity, Collective Memory.
  3. ^ "Yomiuri Shimbun Apologizes on Comfort Women Issue". The Diplomat. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  4. ^ Gilbert Rozman, ed. (2010). U.S. Leadership, History, and Bilateral Relations in Northeast Asia. Cambridge University Press. p. 134. ISBN 9781139492034. Conservative Yomiuri Shimbun also organized a special task force to ...
  5. ^ Daniel M. Kliman, ed. (2014). Fateful Transitions: How Democracies Manage Rising Powers, from the Eve of World War I to China's Ascendance. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 122. ISBN 9780812290295. ... observers in Japan identified other obstacles to China's continued economic growth. Yomiuri Shimbun, a moderately conservative newspaper and ...
  6. ^ a b 読売新聞のメディアデータ [Yomiuri Shimbun Media Data]. The Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). 2020. Archived from the original on 13 February 2021. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  7. ^ "Yomiuri printing factories (印刷工場)". Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  8. ^ "組織体制" Archived August 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Yomiuri Shimbun. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
  9. ^ "Overview of Yomiuri Group Power". Archived from the original on 10 November 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  10. ^ The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings is the largest media conglomerate by revenue in Japan, while Sony is Japan's largest media conglomerate by worldwide media/entertainment revenue.
  11. ^ John Horne (2005). "Sport and the Mass Media in Japan" (PDF). Sociology of Sport Journal. 22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Dainik Bhaskar is world's third-largest circulated newspaper with 4.3 mn copies: WAN IFRA". Best Media Info. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  13. ^ Schell, Orville (1 January 2007). "Japan's war guilt revisited". WAN. Retrieved 31 December 2006.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ ""Nippon Television and CIA" Related Chronology". Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  16. ^ 有馬哲夫 (2006-02-16). "『日本テレビとCIA-発掘された「正力ファイル」』". 週刊新潮.
  17. ^ "Nuclear policy was once sold by Japan's media". The Japan Times. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Kan's Hamaoka request abrupt, poorly explained". The Daily Yomiuri. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  19. ^ "From Square One / How dangerous is Hamaoka?". The Daily Yomiuri. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  20. ^ "Pipes inside condenser found damaged at Hamaoka nuclear plant". 21 May 2011. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ "Japan paper Yomiuri Shimbun retracts 'sex slaves' references". BBC News. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  23. ^ Soble, Jonathan (28 November 2014). "Japanese Newspaper Prints Apology for Using the Term 'Sex Slaves'". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  24. ^ "Yomiuri, Japan's biggest newspaper, apologizes for using term 'sex slaves'". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  25. ^ "Failure of Asian Women's Fund". The Japan News. October 18, 2011. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  26. ^ Norimitsu Onishi. "Japan's reach for future runs up against the past". The New York Times. 7 April 2005.
  27. ^ The Yomiuri Shimbun. "Denuclearization is not a viable option". 21 August 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012
  28. ^ The Yomiuri Shimbun. "Message to our readers". The Japan News. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  29. ^ "The Yomirui Shimbun Corporate Profile" (PDF). Yomiuri Shimbun. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 June 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  30. ^ Hessler, Peter (2 January 2012). "All Due Respect". The New Yorker. Retrieved 17 April 2022.
  31. ^ McClintock, Pamela (5 November 2013). "AFM: Daniel Radcliffe to Star in Japanese Underworld Thriller 'Tokyo Vice'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 April 2022.

Further reading[edit]

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

External links[edit]