Over 70% of Japanese households have newspaper subscription


Danny Choo in a Japanese newspaper

Japan is well-known the world over for being a nation of newspaper readers, so on the surface the headline figure from this survey by DIMSDRIVE Research into newspaper purchase is not too big a surprise. A quick language note – in Japan 新聞, shimbun, is the Japanese for newspaper, which you could probably work out anyway from Q3!


Between the 17th of September and the 2nd of October 2008 10,231 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitors completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.8% of the sample were female, 1.2% in their teens, 13.4% in their twenties, 34.2% in their thirties, 30.2% in their forties, 14.8% in their fifties, and 6.2% aged sixty or older. By employement status, the three largest percentages were 40.4% full-time company employees, 20.7% homemakers, and 12.4% part-time or casual labour. By household income, 6.6% earned under 2 million yen per year, 19.8% under 4 million yen, 24.4% under 6 million yen, 15.3% under 8 million yen, 9.6% under 10 million yen, and 10.3% over 10 million yen. 14.0% were not saying or didn’t know.

One way that Japanese newspapers keep their print subscriptions up is to limit the amount they publish on their web sites. Most keep stories down to two or three paragraphs, often publishing just newswire articles, and expire them after just a few days.

If anything, the numbers reported here may be lower than actuality, as the third-biggest daily newspaper in Japan, the Seikyo Shimbun, is missing from the list. Whether this and other organisation’s dailies were explicitly excluded is not stated, as for instance the Shimbun Akahata (Red Flag – guess whose that is!) also shifts almost 1.7 million copies per day.

The photo is of Danny Choo being featured in a Japanese newspaper, from his flickr collection. I and many others, I think, are secdretly jealous that he gets such coverage and makes so much dosh just for doing the stuff he loves!

Research results

Q1: From which media do you usually get your news from? (Sample size=10,231, multiple answer)

Television 88.8%
PC internet 82.7%
Newspaper 69.5%
Mobile phone internet 22.5%
Radio 19.5%
Hear from friends, family 17.9%
Magazines 13.0%
Other 0.2%
Don’t read, listen to news 0.5%

By age, newspapers showed the most marked increase with age. Just over half of those in their teens and twenties got their news from there, steadily climbing about 10 percentage points per decade to 91.0% of the over-sixties. Mobile phone internet news on the other hand started off at over a third of those in their teens and twenties, dropping down steadily to just 5.6% of the over-sixties using it as a news source.

Q2: Do you or your family buy a newspaper? (Sample size=10,231, multiple answer)

Have a subscription to morning paper(s) 40.1%
Have a subscription to a morning and evening set 32.7%
Have another type of subscription 1.5%
Don’t have subscription, but buy when I want to read one 3.2%
Don’t buy newspapers 24.4%

Morning paper only subscriptions were pretty steady across all age ranges, but the morning and evening set was subscribed to by under a quarter of those in their teens and twenties, rising up to 56.7% of those over sixty getting two newspaper deliveries a day.

Q3: Which newspapers do you often read? (Sample size=10,231, multiple answer)

Asahi Shimbun 24.5%
Yomiuri Shimbun 23.4%
Nihon Keizai (Nikkei) Shimbun 15.1%
Local newspaper 10.7%
Sports newspaper 7.0%
Mainichi Shimbun 6.4%
Chuunichi Shimbun 5.5%
Sankei Shimbun 4.0%
Hokkaido Shimbun 2.5%
Other financial newspaper 1.6%
Evening newspaper 1.4%
Industry newspaper 1.3%
Nishi-Nihon Shimbun 1.2%
Tokyo Shimbun 1.2%
English-language newspaper 0.6%
Other 5.7%
Don’t read any newspapers 20.8%

Q4: Which newspapers do you or your family have a subscription to, buy? (Sample size=7,734, those who buy newspapers from Q2, multiple answer)

Asahi Shimbun 28.3%
Yomiuri Shimbun 27.7%
Nihon Keizai (Nikkei) Shimbun 13.2%
Local newspaper 12.2%
Mainichi Shimbun 6.7%
Chuunichi Shimbun 6.6%
Sports newspaper 5.3%
Sankei Shimbun 4.0%
Hokkaido Shimbun 2.9%
Tokyo Shimbun 1.4%
Nishi-Nihon Shimbun 1.3%
Evening newspaper 0.7%
Industry newspaper 0.7%
Other financial newspaper 0.6%
English-language newspaper 0.3%
Other 8.2%

Q5: Why do you read newspapers? (Sample size=8,106, newspaper readers, multiple answer)

To learn about various topics, information 42.1%
Can read at my own pace 37.8%
It’s a habit 35.5%
Detailed information, explanations 34.0%
Useful for work, life 23.8%
Lots of information 23.3%
Information, explanations are easy to understand 17.8%
Think it’s best to read 15.8%
Information, explanations are accurate 15.0%
Can read it anywhere 12.2%
Like reading the printed word 11.9%
Rich contents 9.5%
Objective reporting 7.7%
Reporting is speedy 7.7%
Price is cheap 5.1%
Other 2.7%
No particular reason 11.3%

Q6: Which columns, sections of the newspapers do you often read? (Sample size=8,106, newspaper readers, multiple answer)

Front page 77.6%
Society 56.7%
Television, radio 56.4%
Lifestyle 47.9%
Financial 44.5%
Local 44.0%
Politics 36.7%
Sports 32.8%
Weather forecast 32.5%
International 28.1%
Entertainment, culture 25.7%
Columns, serialisations 22.9%
Technology, IT 22.6%
Leaders 19.2%
Cartoons 18.1%
Stocks 12.7%
Recruitment 4.9%
Letters 3.7%
Other 1.5%
Don’t know 1.5%

Looked at by sex, most of the topics split the way you might expect, but one exception was that 36.3% of men read international news, but only 19.8% of women did.

Q7: When choosing what newspapers to read, what points regarding the pages themselves are important? (Sample size=8,106, newspaper readers, multiple answer)

Information accuracy 35.6%
Ease of understanding information, explanations 32.6%
Has information I want 26.2%
Detail of information, explanations 25.5%
Amount of information 23.5%
Whether useful for work, life 20.5%
Ease of reading type 20.3%
Local coverage 19.1%
Objective reporting 17.8%
Goodness of page layout 10.8%
Has information not found in other papers 10.6%
Whether I support its stance, point of view 9.3%
Is related to my favourite baseball team 4.6%
Serialised novels, etc 3.3%
Other 1.7%
Nothing in particular 21.3%

Q8: When choosing what newspapers to subscribe to, what points are important? (Sample size=7,482, those with subscriptions from Q2, multiple answer)

Quality of page contents, volume, etc 36.3%
Cost per issue, subscription 16.9%
Amount of advertisements, folded-in leaflets 14.8%
Sign-up offers, gifts 11.6%
Salesperson’s recommendation 11.3%
Frequency of publishing, delivery 2.0%
No advertisements, folded-in leaflets 1.0%
Saw television advertisement 0.5%
Other 11.7%
Don’t know, didn’t choose myself 28.8%

Q9: Why don’t you read a newspaper? (Sample size=2,125, newspaper non-readers from Q3, multiple answer)

Get news from internet, television 72.0%
Price is high 49.5%
Creates rubbish after reading it 34.9%
Don’t have time to read 26.6%
Don’t like newspaper sales 24.9%
Slower compared to internet, etc 21.1%
Gets my hands dirty 6.1%
Difficult to read the type 5.3%
Doesn’t print the news I want 4.6%
Not interested in what goes on in the world 1.5%
Don’t need news 0.9%
Other 4.8%
Don’t know, no particular reason 6.1%
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  1. lucien trong said,
    January 26, 2013 @ 20:32

    国際創価学会へのレター Letter submitted to SGI

    上記の方法の中 我々は資料の証明または教義上の証明で議論したい。

    Prabhutaratna(Taho)、偉大な4名 Bodhisattvas、
    (1953年G.Renondeau PUF 日蓮の教義)
    法華経について 第XI章(B.Watson訳)

    IS SHAKYAMUNI DISCIPLE OF NICHIREN ? Lucien.trong@laposte.net

    Soka Gakkai is an Association of ordinary secular people. It is created to spread out Buddhism whose founder is Shakyamuni. Relying on Lotus Sûtra, Nichiren, a japanese monk on XIIIth century, created the Lotus School . This Sûtra says that we all have Buddhahood inside, and that every body is equal. So we have the right to contribute by submitting positive ideas.

    Nichiren devised a method for evaluating any religion or philosophy : Documentary Proof ( for Nichiren, his Writtings or Gosho ). Theorical Proof ( relying on reason ) Actual Proof ( any
    thing to make people believe ). We wish to argue about Documentary Proof, on DOCTRINAL basis, the two others posing no special problem.
    Nichiren has materialized the XIth chapter of the Lotus Sûtra ( there are 28 ) on the Gohonzon or Object of cult «  In the center the title of the Sûtra, Shakyamuni and Prabhûtaratna (Taho), the 4 great Bodhisattvas, Vicistacaritra ( Jôgyô) and the three others..(The doctrine of Nichiren, G. Renondeau PUF, 1953). Accordingly to the Lotus Sûtra, XIth chapter (translator B. Watson)

    Nichiren considered himself as the Bodhisattva Jôgyô and always as the disciple of Shakyamuni.
    After his death on 1282, within two centuries, it is accepted as so by all branches of Lotus School
    From Nichiu (1409-1484) Nichiren suddendly became the Original Buddha and Shakyamuni just a « Transitory » Buddha! This affirmation is nowhere in the Gosho, but in the Comments by his successors. Is this a Documentary Proof ?
    The 3 SGI Presidents,the 3 other Bodhisattvas? mainly the last one, succeeded,with lots of effort to introduce this Buddhism in 192 countries now. Excommunication on 1991 by Nichiren Shoshu where the mouvement issued, could be considered as a luck permitting to revise this comment. 
    Rehabilitate Shakyamuni to his place will help legitimate SGI on his way of Peace to the World.
    This might be in conformity with L.S Chapter II (Means) and The selection of the time (Gosho) ?

  2. lucien trong said,
    January 26, 2013 @ 20:36

    Nichiren considered himself as disciple of Shakyamuni.
    He fight against Jodo School venering Amida instead of
    Shakyamuni. We would never admid to place himself as
    Original Buddha, above the one he considered his Master ?

    Dint you thik so ? What do you have to say about that ? Thanks

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