Sign in to follow this  

Japanese News Web Sites

Recommended Posts

While all of us are interested in sumo and Ozumo, some indicated they are very much interested in Japanese culture and things happening in Japan. For most of us the best way to get the information is through newspaper and other news related sites so I collected them as many as I can think of and often access myself here.

I know some may read hiragana, katakana or even kanjis while the others may be

using a translation software. When available, I will list the English page urls as well. Incidentally a "shimbun" means a newspaper in Japanese.

There are five national dailies in Japan plus one major independent English daily (actually there is another English paper with the Yomiuri, the Daily Yomiuri and another with the Asahi, the Asahi Shimbun/International Herald Tribune).

1. The Asahi Shimbun

2. The Mainichi Shimbun

3. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun

4. The Yomiuri Shimbun

5. The Sankei Shimbun

6. The Japan Times


1. 朝日新聞 The Asahi Shimbun

A wide coverage with strong news analysis. Often authoritative and but politically

more left leaning than the other national dailies. Historically the paper has been often targeted by the extreme right/ultra nationalists and organized crime groups. The satellite edition is printed in UK, USA and elsewhere and the same day delivery is available in many major metropolitan centers via courier (mail delivery elsewhere abroad). Arguably it is the newspaper that represents Japan and of the record. Its website is more up to date and compreshensive than the other newspaper sites. Its front page column, "天声人語" (Vox populi, Vox dei) is often imitated but never duplicated.

Its English site is here.

A sports daily, Nikkan Sports

is a part of the Asashi network.

They also publish a general newsweekly "Shukan Asahi" and more politically oriented "Aera" with more emphasis on international affairs.

2. 毎日新聞 The Mainichi Shimbun

Their web site is co-branded with MSN now. Mainichi is a more middle-of-the-road with slightly left leaning tendency. The paper may not be as comprehensive as Asahi nor has as many readers but they have a good selection of specialized themed articles and good analysis on current affairs. They often sponsor major sporting events like the national high school baseball championships and All Japan Sumo Tournaments. Mainichi presents a Yusho rikishi portrait for each basho.

Its English site is here.

Mainichi publishes a general weekly news magazine, "Sunday Mainichi".

A sports daily, "Sports Nippon" is a part of the Mainichi publishing network.

3. 日本経済新聞 The Nihon Keizai Shimbun

"Nikkei" is the financial newspaper of Japan, enormously influential in government circles and corporate worlds. It is a "must" reading for stock traders, money market managers, policy makers and corporate warriors. Along with the Asahi Shimbun, the paper is widely available internationally with its satellite editions couriered daily to Japanese companies located world wide. The paper is very strong on international affairs and IT fields (if I recall they publish half a dozen IT related magazines monthly). They also publish three other industry related financial papers daily. Obviously fiscally conservative but surprisingly politically pretty much center in many issues.

The web's English version can be accessed from this url.

4. 読売新聞 The Yomiuri Shimbun

The world's largest paid circulation newspaper with over 10 million copies sold daily. It is a newspaper more or less headed by Tsuneo Watanabe, former Yokozuna Deliberation Committee Chairman. It reflects Watanabe's views on many issues and politically very conservative. Though many of the operational decisions are business driven, they often adovocate Constitutional reforms and take up socially sensitive issues like medicine and welfare. They also appear to put more emphasis on family related topics like raising kids, seniors and home. As far as I know this is the only Japanese newspaper web site I know of that has its own wine/food page.

And obviously there is no other paper in Japan that can come close to them on the Tokyo Giants baseball coverage (with their sports daily, Sports Houchi).

They also own one of the largest commercial broadcasters in Japan, "Nihon TV" and

the Yomiuri Tokyo Giants, the most popular and profitable baseball franchise in Japan.

They also publsh a general news weekly magazine, "Yomiuri Weekly" and of course, monthly "Ozumo" magazine. They publish an English language daily, "The Daily Yomiuri".

The English website is at this url.

5. 産経新聞 The Sankei Shimbun

Sankei newspaper is somewhat of engima. The paper has a very conservative editorial leaning - perhaps reflecting its background of financel or business as the name is similar to Nikkei the business paper. Sankei is a part of Fuji-Sankei group, a

major communication congloremate that owns popular Fuji TV, one of the major commercial broadcasters, consistently winning the rating wars among the networks. Nippon Hoso Radio in Tokyo is affliated with this group.

They also publish a sports daily, Sankei Sportsand more entertainment oriented and often leaning more for

sensationalism, an evening tabloid, Yukan Fuji. From the parent publisher of this tabloid comes a serious and politically conservative monthly journal "Seiron".

The Sankei Shimbun itself is more of innovator and a trendsetter. They are the first newspaper so far to abolish its evening edition in Tokyo and focusing solely on the

morning edition. They did publish their edition on the newspaper holidays when the other papers did not by selling the paper at kiosks on train stations and conveninence stores as there was no home delivery on those days. The paper tends to walk on its own independent line. They are the only national daily (along with its sister paper, "Yukan Fuji") that delivers a fee based full content edition, identical to the paper edition through internet by using a proprietary software called NewsVue but they are also the only national daily site which does not have its English version on web (except editorial and op-ed articles). Go figure.

They also host two sports and entertainment web sites, Zakzak and

as well as their sports magazine site Sports Yeah!.

Just like the Sankei paper site, none of these sites are available in English.

6. The Japan Times

I will be amiss if I fail to mention the largest circulation English daily in Japan.. By

reading this web site, you will pretty much get a feel of what's happening in Japan as their coverage is pretty wide and balanced. As quite a few of their reporters are not Japanese, they view the life in Japan more from a non-native perspective and perhaps easier to identified with for many people here.

Other news sources:

Wire Service:


1. Kyodo Wire Service

English version.

2. Jiji Press

English version available on a subscription basis only.

3. Reuters Japan

Mostly financially related news.


If you have a Real Video or Windows Media Player, you can watch certain news stories from TV network sites.

NHK Online

NHK on their main web site has a news section and certain stories are available on video as well as on audio. You need to access it through from their main page.

Basically you click the news category button and then once you get to the page then you click on whatever story you are interested in.

Here are the category buttons on the main page.

政治 - Politics

経済 - Economy

社会 - General Society

国際 - International

地域 - Regional

スポーツ - Sports

気象情報 - Weather forecast

Here's their audio page. Basically you click one of the buttons that displays the time and date of newscast.

They also have news available on 21 languages. Just click a button that you want to hear the news on. I do see one for Swedish but not on Finnish. Sorry.

TBS News

Another private broadcaster TBS in Tokyo has a news site with certain stories on video. "Video" part of it is in English so try clicking any one of them, you may find a story to your liking but no guarantee. If you click on the "Click" button on "3S Viewer", you are taken to another page where you can click all the stories and get to watch those you clicked. After selecting the stories, on Step 2, you click the first Real radio button if you have a high speed connection as it will give you a higher quality transmission (low res is default). And then just click the box on Step 3. Enjoy.

Nihon TV News

On this site, major stories have an image as well as a line to read "full story" (記事全文). To watch the news video, just click either Windows Media Player or Real Video icon.  I find that some video files take some time to kick in and need buffering occasionally but it may be just my connection.

Fuji TV News

I like this site - there are a lot of news on video here. Not only on the first page but once you click the underlined "ニュース一覧" in the middle page, you will get to another page with more news articles on video. All the news items at the bottom half have also video available if you click on the story and go to the story page as well.

TV Asashi News

Again on this site you have those ubiquitous Windows Media Player and Real Video icons next to the news story. On this site you can select whether you want higher or lower resolution. It's a pretty comprehensive site news wise but compared to others at least on this site, I find sports news is meagre rather than non-existent.

The above are all Tokyo based TV stations but there may be others regionally.

Finally Japanese news portal sites:

1. Yahoo Japan (portal)

2. Google Japan News (portal)

3. Goo News (portal) (from the same folks who bring you the NSK site),

4. CNN Japan(portal) (International news in Japanese).

5. Biglobe (provider)

6. Nifty News (providerl)

7. livedoor news (portal)

8. Excite News (portal)

9. Infoseek News (portal)

Additional Sports newspaper sites (no English):

Daily Sports

Chunichi Sports

Edited by Jonosuke

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Nihon TV News

On this site, major stories have an image as well as a line to read "full story" (記事前文).

Thanks for the great overview! Perfect to bookmark and peruse now and then. My Japanese is so rudimentary that it's still fun to try reading everything what I see, like those tidbits in your article. I had a little difficulty at first to understand the meaning of this "kijizenbu", but got the solution quickly. (Showing respect...)

(Sign of approval)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Nihon TV News

On this site, major stories have an image as well as a line to read "full story" (記事前文).

I had a little difficulty at first to understand the meaning of this "kijizenbu", but got the solution quickly

Sorry about that. I didn't even notice it.

Obviously it was "記事全文

Edited by Jonosuke

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have much to add to Joe's fantastic post, except to say that Nikkan Sports is generally considered one of the most reliable of the sports dailies. I wish their website had more in the way of images, but I keep abreast of both Japanese baseball and the 芸能界 there.

Also, Goo has an absolutely fantastic dictionary site: A must-have bookmark for any learner of Japanese.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great post! :-O :-) (Sign of approval) :-)

Couple of additional links for Japanese learners:

Japanese for beginners-site has some good condense articles.

Especially the kanji section where you can see Japan's elementary school kanji grouped in grades when they are taught or in alphabetical order. Good examples of the usage and a good way to follow a Japanese kids' path in learning kanji:

This is quite neat compilation of Japanese grammar. Probably accurate too.



Main site:

Nice page for kanji frequency tables and other stuff too:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this