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Best 10 Apps for News in Japan
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News in Japan

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Media in Japan includes television and radio networks as well as newspapers and magazines. The rise of the internet has brought news to every home and the use of social media.


Newspapers started in the 17th century as a form of communicating about major events in the larger cities. The first modern newspaper edition came to the scene in 1861. And in 1897, the oldest English language only newspaper, The Japan Times, was established. It was meant to give the citizens an opportunity to read and discuss world events in English to help engage the Japanese in the international community. Japan's newspaper history in the early 1910-20s was marked by the government trying to suppress their stance on citizens' rights. During this time, the Mainichi Shimbun was established and now is the oldest daily newspaper still running in Japan. In 1951, freedom of the press was returned. Television was first introduced in Japan in 1939. Due to World War II, broadcasting stopped and did not begin again until 1950. In 1968, NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, started research after the Tokyo Olympics. Today, they are the public broadcast and owners of two nationwide TV networks. The first magazine was printed in 1867 and was called Western Magazine in Japanese. Before the war, there were about 3000 in the country. Due to the war, the number of published newspapers decreased. Internet and social media have taken rise in Japan where 100% of its citizens are online, 80% of them own a smartphone, and over 30 million have a Facebook profile.  

There are seven major nationwide television networks in Japan, two are owned by the NHK, and the other five are private stations. The five broadcasting firms dominate most of the mass media through newspapers and television. Most Japanese get their news information from commercial television broadcasts (91.8% of those surveyed by the Japan Press Research Institute). Nippon News Network is one of the largest broadcasters and is owned by Nippon Television, which is owned by the Yomiuri Group, the largest media conglomerate in Japan. NNN has a 24-hour news channel featuring Japan breaking news and round the clock information. The NHK is owned by the government but is funded by viewers' monthly payments. They offer local, national and international news. They have, in the past, been criticized for being too impartial about the government. Most Japanese media sources fall under the bias of slight to moderate conservatism as polled by Medias Bias/Fact Check.com. Most of the news stations cover Japanese politics today and Japan entertainment news. Sports is also an important part of news channels. Asahi shimbun sports is popular for its coverage on national and international sports. 

Still, newspapers are a major source of Japan news with over 80% people reading the news every day. There are five national newspapers circulating today -- the Asahi Shimbun, the Mainichi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, the Sankei Shimbun, and the Yomiuri Shimbun, which is the largest circulated newspaper in the world. Recently there has been a worry of polarization in the newspapers' stances toward the government. Three out of the five national newspapers are extremely critical of the government due to various political issues in recent years, and the other two siding with the government's recent decisions. The concern is that with two polar opposite sides, it will give way to a neutral ground of discussion and compromise within the country. Newspapers also have websites where readers can subscribe to both morning and evening new cycles. With Japan having one of the highest literacy rates in the world, it is easy to imagine that some of its newspapers have the highest circulation in the world. 

With over 3000 magazines published in Japan, the focus and subjects are endless. There are magazines that cover Japanese society news, culture, international relations, anime, and Japan economic news. Many magazines cover a broad range of topics current with today's society. There are also magazines that cater to Japan's current events for kids as an educational tool for international information and current events for children to learn to understand. Just like newspapers, most magazines have their own websites which are read more than the magazine itself. One of the most popular magazines is the Metropolis which is both English and Japanese and covers a wide variety of entertainment topics and news stories.  

It might be surprising that the role of social media in the Japanese market is lower than say that of the U.K or Hong Kong. The reason for the lower rate is the importance of anonymity in the culture of the Japanese. Therefore, some of the social media platforms that are at the top in the west might not be as high in Japan. For example, the use of Facebook as a tool for employment has wider use in Japan than platforms like Linkedin. Using Facebook for job hunting is less public than that of Linkedin. The Japanese tend to feel it is disrespectful or unprofessional to publicly look for a job so they tend to use Facebook to gain employment whereas, in the U.S, Facebook is used for more social reasons. Social media platforms like Line or Twitter are used more in Japanese culture. They both allow users to express their personalities but to do so in a more covert and less public way. Instagram is also gaining traction in Japan due to the fact that users can create a profile without having to use their real name or profile picture.

The Internet is the hub of information globally. Merely clicking on your browser and yahoo japan news will be there ready to fed information. Every newspaper, television channel, magazine, app, or otherwise have a presence on the Internet. Type the words kyoto japan news today or japan economic news today into the browser and in floods countless stories, videos, and live streaming news segments. Information is exchanged and available more now than ever before. Look for bbc japan documentary online and a list of documentaries from different eras will pop up to watch streaming. 

Best 10 Apps for News in Japan

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