The Yomiuri Shimbun

A daily newspaper with the world's largest circulation and a 140-year history : The Yomiuri Shimbun

A daily newspaper with the world's largest circulation and a 140-year history : The Yomiuri Shimbun


The Yomiuri Shimbun has the largest circulation in the world. It is a national newspaper with more than 145 years of history. We have a nationwide distribution network encompassing about 7,000 distributors and issue both morning and evening editions. The evening edition is issued from Monday to Saturday.

Founded in November 1874, the name is derived from the Edo era "kawaraban" style of informational paper, which was meant to be read ("yomi") while selling ("uri"). Our headquarters burned to the ground twice - once in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and once in an air raid during the World War II, but we overcame these hardships, carving out our place in history.

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Yomiuri Shimbun's key characteristics include our extensive coverage and clear language. We serve the public's "right to know" with numerous scoops, while mobilizing social development with our courageous, responsible editorials and realistic, compelling proposals. We also provide extensive content that is relevant to the rapidly aging society and low birthrate, with coverage in the fields of medicine, social insurance, and education.

As of April 2021, the circulation of our morning edition is 7,954,126(Japan Audit Bureau of Circulations report). Britain's Guinness Book of World Records has certified that The Yomiuri Shimbun's circulation is the largest in the world.

Emphasis and Achievements in Coverage

The Scoops

The heart of a newspaper is scoops carried on the front page. The Yomiuri Shimbun brings its readers numerous scoops, keeping society informed on many issues.

In November 2014, we were the first to report that eight people had died after highly difficult laparoscopic surgeries performed at Gunma University Hospital in Gunma Prefecture, in the Kanto region. Bringing transparency to the often opaque realities surrounding the introduction of advanced medical procedures, we were awarded the 2015 Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association award, which is presented to Japanese media for excellence in journalism.

That same November, we were also the first to report that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would postpone raising the consumption tax to 10% and consider dissolving the lower house of the Diet that year. This scoop on the secret inner workings of the government's agenda shocked the political world, and led political coverage until an election in December of that year.

In 2015, 70 years after the end of the World War II, The Yomiuri Shimbun published a list of the 1,057 Japanese who died in detention centers set up by the former Soviet Union in the northern Korean Peninsula, southern Sakhalin and Dalian, China, after the end of the war. We revealed that the Japanese government had not publicized this list despite having acquired a portion of it, leading to changes in how the government researched detainee deaths.

Our Proposals

Since proposing revisions to the Japanese Constitution in 1994, The Yomiuri Shimbun has issued proposals on many topics related to the future of Japan, such as national security, administrative reform, economic policy, education, tax policy and health care. Including the May 2013 "Proposal on Health Care Reform," there have been 31 such proposals.

There have been many cases in which the Japanese government or the ruling and opposition parties follow The Yomiuri Shimbun's recommendations exactly, or quite closely. For example, in 2000, about five years after the proposed revisions to the Japanese Constitution, the Diet set up a research commission on the Constitution. The current Japanese Constitution has not been amended at all since its enactment in 1947, so there is a widening gap between the Constitution and Japan's politics and society. The debate on revising the Constitution had long remained stagnant in the Diet. It was The Yomiuri Shimbun's proposal that breathed life into this debate.

In our 2013 proposal on health care reform, we appealed for the establishment of an organization which would act as the control tower for research and development in health-related areas, and about two years later, the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development was established as a national research and development corporation acting as the core of the government's health and medical care strategies. In 2020, we made proposals on how to tackle the coronavirus.

Medical Issues

The Yomiuri Shimbun has an excellent reputation for medical coverage. The morning edition's Medical Renaissance column began in September 1992 and has been carried over 6,000 times. Hoping to achieve "health care that is gentle to the mind and body," the column has reported on a variety of medical topics, from treatments for children's illnesses to moving accounts of people's experiences with illness, dementia and state-of-the-art regenerative therapy. This series was awarded the 1994 Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association award, which is presented to Japanese media for excellence in journalism.

We have also independently researched the performance of treatments at medical facilities throughout the country by disease, and published lists to provide readers with immediately useful medical information. This wealth of medical articles is also available on the yomiDr., our comprehensive medical, nursing and health care web site.

In 1997, The Yomiuri Shimbun established the medical information office (currently the Medical News Department) that specializes in medical coverage in the Editorial Bureau at our Tokyo headquarters. This was the first time that a Japanese general newspaper established such an office. The knowledge and personal networks built up by reporters through researching feature articles led to numerous scoops, including the story of the deaths of eight people after laparoscopic surgery at the Gunma University Hospital (2014).

Educational Issues

The Yomiuri Shimbun has focused on improving education coverage. In April 2013, we established the Education News Department at the Editorial Bureau at our Tokyo headquarters to create a system for reporting by specialists on daily news and feature articles about educational reforms by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, as well as issues such as bullying and corporal punishment at school.

One feature that symbolizes The Yomiuri Shimbun's strength in covering educational issues is the morning edition's Education Renaissance, which started in January 2005. There have been more than 2,000 pieces in the series, reporting on the current state of Japan's ever-changing educational landscape with topics ranging from free school to the history of education.

We aggregate and publicize data on around 90 percent of Japan's universities, such as withdrawal rates, graduation rates, foreign experience, numbers of international students, and figures for job hunting and graduation. It is taken for granted that universities in some countries publish data such as withdrawal rates and graduation rates, but it was not until The Yomiuri Shimbun started this research in 2008 that it became common in Japan. Referring to The Yomiuri Shimbun's research, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry encouraged all universities to further publicize such data, which had a major impact on the educational world.


The Yomiuri Shimbun was the first newspaper in Japan to establish pages especially aimed at women. This goes back over 100 years to 1914.

"Making quick meals for one" or "Dressing stylishly in turtleneck sweaters" - The Yomiuri Shimbun has placed an emphasis on creating a newspaper that is aligned with the needs of its readers, including clear reporting on practical food, fashion and home-related information, women's living, child care, nursing care, consumer issues and other lifestyle-related news.

The tradition of the "Lifestyle Yomiuri" is symbolized by the morning edition's Troubleshooter. Although the title has changed and there were interruptions in its publication, it has continued to respond to readers' concerns about love, marriage, family and more for over 100 years. The replies are written by specialists like novelists and scholars with rich life experience. The caring advice they offer has drawn in readers of all generations.

Subscription Fees

Set version (morning and evening editions) ¥4,400 / month (tax included)

Depending upon the region, The Yomiuri Shimbun is available in the "set version," which includes the morning and evening editions, and the "integrated version," which includes the morning edition only. The "integrated version" includes a portion of the evening edition.

The Yomiuri Shimbun publishes an English-language daily newspaper, The Japan News. It delivers English translations of articles from The Yomiuri Shimbun, as well as English information on the state of Japan and the world, in the form of staff-written articles and articles by news agencies.