Message from the Editor-in-Chief

Tsuneo Watanabe
Photo by Kishin Shinoyama

The Yomiuri Shimbun celebrates its 150th anniversary in November 2024. We published our first issue in 1874 in a small two-story building in the Toranomon district of Tokyo. Our offices were destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and again in an air raid at the end of World War II, but after the war we expanded rapidly by building a strong sales network throughout Japan. Thanks to our accurate, prompt reporting and moderate, sensible editorial line, we have grown into the world's most widely circulated newspaper. By 1994, our daily circulation topped 10 million copies. We thus cemented our position as Japan's foremost newspaperーa position we retain today.

As a news organ, we have over the decades fulfilled our social mission of fostering the healthy public discourse that underpins democracy by producing and publishing quality newspapers. To enable us to remain steadfast in this role, we have diversified and strengthened our business by branching out into fields beyond newspaper publishing. We have expanded into a series of enterprises that serve society, including establishing the Yomiuri Giants professional baseball team, launching Japan's first commercial TV station, Nippon Television Network Corporation, and founding the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. Another case in point is the addition of the long-established publishing house Chuokoron-sha (now Chuokoron-Shinsha, Inc.) to the Yomiuri Shimbun Group. In 2021, we turned Yomiuriland, Co., Ltd. into a wholly owned subsidiary, making it the group's seventh core company.

With about 140 companies and organizations currently affiliated with the group, we work actively to improve people's lives and promote Japan's development by operating in a multitude of fields including sports, culture, entertainment, healthcare and public welfare. Meanwhile, we have earmarked decarbonization as one of our priorities as a group. As a member of the corporate community, we will continue making a concerted effort to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by taking such steps as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

With the spread of information technology in the form of digital devices, people worldwide have become increasingly accustomed to obtaining information from sources like the internet and social media. This development has greatly affected lifestyles and culture on a global scale, as well as people's education and speech, and public opinion. It has also given rise to problems, including the viral spread of inaccurate information and fake news on social media in the form of short text messages.

In this digital society, newspapers are gaining new respect. With each passing year, they are coming to be increasingly valued as a knowledge source that provides a comprehensive, systematic overview of news in all areas including politics, economy, international affairs and society. Thanks to meticulous newsgathering by our journalists posted all over Japan and worldwide, we bring you accurate, high-quality news through our nationwide sales agent network and other channels.

With your support, the Yomiuri Shimbun Group intends to continue evolving as Japan's most trusted media conglomerate.

Tsuneo Watanabe
Representative Director and Editor-in-Chief
The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings

Tsuneo Watanabe

Representative Director and Editor-in-Chief, the Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings

Born in Tokyo in 1926, Tsuneo Watanabe graduated in philosophy from the University of Tokyo Faculty of Letters. He joined The Yomiuri Shimbun in 1950. After serving as Washington Bureau chief and editor of the Political News Department, he became chairman of the Editorial Board. He later served as President and Editor-in-Chief and then Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of the Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings before assuming his present post. He is author of numerous books.