Yomiuri Shimbun Editorials
Every day, The Yomiuri Shimbun makes clear arguments in its editorial regarding the important political, economic and social news stories of the day, both domestic and international. The Editorial Board, working under the editor-in-chief who supervises the newspaper's official editorial stance, thoroughly debate the tone of each editorial. The Editorial Board consists of the executive editor, the chairman of the Editorial Board, and senior writers from each editorial department for politics, economy, international affairs, science, culture and other areas.
The editorials have their foundation in the Creed of The Yomiuri Shimbun, which declares "courageous and responsible" speech to be its most important principle. We make no attempts to pander to the public, and craft our arguments with the determination that they will "hold up even 30 years later."
Editorials from The Yomiuri Shimbun can be read on the website of The Japan News, the daily English-language newspaper published by The Yomiuri Shimbun.
70 years after the war, leading the country in free speech
The Yomiuri Shimbun has provided the leading editorials in Japan since the end of World War II.
The San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed in 1951, amid an intensifying Cold War. On May 15 of the previous year, we ran an editorial asserting that "the stronger the push for overall peace, the greater the risk that the public will flock to anti-Western sentiments." We were the only major media outlet to make the case for a peace with Western nations instead of supporting an overall peace that would have included the Soviet Union. We judged that having a peace treaty with the countries in the West, and striving for early restoration of independence, would be best for our nation's interests. Proof that we were correct came with Japan's subsequent progress towards peace and economic growth.
On Jan. 1, 1982, with the Cold War still continuing, we ran an editorial headlined "Dare to be optimistic for the '80s." In it, we indicated that economic factors would create limits for the arms race and that revolutionary changes in communications technology would lead the closed nature of the Soviet Union and other Eastern-bloc countries to crumble. The article later received high praise for predicting how the Cold War would later end.
In the 1990s, we were early advocates for Japan to take part in U.N. peacekeeping operations (PKO) and also called for revisions to Japan's Constitution. At the time, the Constitution had not been interpreted to allow for collective self-defense, placing it in conflict with the U.N. Charter. After the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, we published an editorial on Oct. 6 of the same year, calling for Japan to actively contribute to the international community, including the use of its Self-Defense Forces. The article warned: "Japan is also vulnerable to the threat of international terrorism. Japan, too, must implement its own counterterrorism measures." On both topics--PKOs and the Constitution--we had anticipated the decisions the Japanese government would later make.
In economics and finances as well, on June 6, 1978, 10 years before the Japanese consumption tax was passed into law, an editorial stated, "Looking at the current financial situation, sooner or later the imposition of this new tax is unavoidable." The article made it clear that The Yomiuri Shimbun would not pander to the public, who were strongly opposed to any increase in taxes. In the '90s, when the economic bubble burst and deflation began, The Yomiuri Shimbun insisted that overcoming deflation was the most important economic issue of the day.
Even if the opposition is fierce, we at The Yomiuri Shimbun believe that by patiently advocating for logic, we can ultimately gain our readers' understanding and trust.