The Japan Times is Japan's largest English-language newspaper. It is published by The Japan Times, Ltd. (株式会社 ジャパン タイムズ Kabushiki gaisha Japan Taimuzu), a subsidiary of Nifco, a leading manufacturer of plastic fasteners for the automotive and home design industries. It is headquartered in the Japan Times Nifco Building (ジャパンタイムズ・ニフコビル Japan Taimuzu Nifuko Biru) in Shibaura, Minato, Tokyo.
The Japan Times was launched by Motosada Zumoto on March 22, 1897, with the goal of giving Japanese an opportunity to read and discuss news and current events in English in order to help Japan to participate more fully in the international community. It was successively renamed The Japan Times and Mail (1918–1940) following its merger with The Japan Mail, The Japan Times and Advertiser (1940–1943) following its merger with The Japan Advertiser, and Nippon Times (1943–1956) before reverting to the Japan Times title in 1956. The temporary change to Nippon Times occurred during an anti-English language sentiment during World War II era Japan.
At first, the paper was independent of government control, but from 1931 onward, the Japanese government was mounting pressure on the paper's editors to submit to its policies. In 1933, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs managed to appoint Hitoshi Ashida, former Ministry official, as chief editor. During World War II, the newspaper served as an outlet for Imperial Japanese government propaganda and editorial opinion. The paper's circulation at that time was about 825,000.
Nifco, a manufacturer of automotive fasteners, acquired control of The Japan Times in 1996. Nifco chairman Toshiaki Ogasawara (小笠原 敏晶 Ogasawara Toshiaki) is also the chairman and publisher of The Japan Times. His daughter Yukiko Ogasawara (小笠原 有輝子 Ogasawara Yukiko) was president of the company from 2006 to 2012, when she was replaced by career Japan Times staffer Takeharu Tsutsumi.
The Japan Times, Inc. publishes three periodicals: The Japan Times, an English-language daily broadsheet; The Japan Times Weekly, an English-language weekly in tabloid form; and Shukan ST, a weekly in tabloid format, targeted at Japanese learning English. The daily's content includes:
- News: domestic and world news; domestic and overseas business news.
- Opinion: Editorials, Op-eds, and Letters to the Editor.
- Features: life and style, community, media, technology, food and drink, travel, environment, education, cartoons.
- Entertainment: film, art, music, stage, books, event previews, festival listing.
- Sports: domestic and overseas sports news, including coverage of baseball, soccer, basketball, sumo, figure skating.
Printed stories from The Japan Times are archived online. The newspaper contains a reader's forum and, since 2013, the website offers a section for readers' comments below articles. This came about during a complete redesign and redevelopment of the newspaper, using Responsive Web Design techniques so that the site is optimised for all digital devices. The Japan Times has a social media presence on Twitter (2007), Facebook (2007) and Google+ (2011).
- Debito Arudou, (Just Be Cause) columnist
- Philip Brasor, (Media Mix) media columnist, music writer
- Amy Chavez, (Japan Lite) columnist
- Gregory Clark, commentary writer
- Sir Hugh Cortazzi, commentary writer
- David Cozy, literary critic
- Roger Dahl, Opinion Page cartoonist, Zero Gravity cartoonist
- Thomas Dillon
- Brad Glosserman, commentary writer
- Alice Gordenker, (So, What the Heck is That?) columnist
- Giovanni Fazio, film critic
- Wayne Graczyk, baseball writer
- Michael Hoffmann, (Big in Japan) media columnist
- Noriko Hama, business columnist
- Makiko Itoh (Japanese Kitchen), food writer
- Misha Janette, (Stylewise) fashion columnist
- Judit Kawaguchi (Words to Live By)
- Matthew Larking, art critic
- C.B. Liddell, art critic
- David McNeill, feature writer
- Jon Mitchell, Okinawa, military contamination, social issues
- Kit Pancoast Nagamura, (Walking the Wards and The Backstreet Stories) columnist
- Hifumi Okunuki, labor law scholar
- Mark Schilling, film critic
- Mark Schreiber, media columnist, book critic
- Kaori Shoji, film critic
- Steve McClure, music critic
- Jean Snow, (On Design) design columnist
- Robbie Swinnerton, (Tokyo Food File), food writer
- Peter Vecsey, sports columnist
- Jeff Kingston
- Monty DiPietro, art critic
- John Gauntner, Nihonshu columnist
- Don Maloney (author)
- Dreux Richard, African community, investigative
- Donald Richie, book, film critic
- Edward Seidensticker
- Robert Yellin Ceramic Scene columnist
- Jean Pearce, Community columnist
- Fred Varcoe, Sports editor
- Elyse Rogers and Fume Miyatake, Women in Business Columnists
- Motto: "All the News Without Fear or Favor", "The World's Window on Japan"
- Chairperson: Toshiaki Ogasawara (小笠原 敏晶 Ogasawara Toshiaki)
- Capital: ¥476,437,000
- Business: Publishes The Japan Times, The Japan Times Weekly, Shukan ST (a bilingual weekly), books in English and Japanese