Free papers in Japan


iBridge Research Plus recently conducted a survey, reported on by, into the matter of free papers.


On the 8th of March 300 members of the iBridge monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 57.0% of the sample were male, 9.0% in their twenties, 31.0% in their thirties, 32.7% in their forties, 23.0% in their fifties, and 4.3% in their sixties.

I get about two or three free papers every fortnight through my door, usually filled with just classified advertisements and restaurant and beauty information with coupons, which I always check as my favourite local restaurant usually has a 10% off offer on the go.

Just one person reads foreigner-oriented free sheets – all I can say is that I’m glad my wife did too…

Research results

First of all, from the 300 people sampled 282 people, or 94.0%, knew roughly or in detail what a free paper was, although the exact split was not listed. These 282 were asked the following.

Q1: Have you ever read a free paper? (Sample size=282)

Yes (to SQs) 85.5%
No 14.5%

Q1SQ1: What kinds of free paper have you read? (Sample size=241, multiple answer)

  Votes Percentage
Restaurants, pubs, other food and drink 197 81.7%
Local what’s on information 180 74.7%
Job-seeking 148 61.4%
News, information 59 24.5%
Homes 47 19.5%
Music, cinema 41 17.0%
Mail order 34 14.1%
Beauty 27 11.2%
Car, motocrycle 12 5.0%
School 9 3.7%
Sports 5 2.1%
Foreigner-oriented 1 0.4%
Other 5 2.1%

Q1SQ2: Have you made use of the information from a free paper? (Sample size=241)

Yes 69.5%
No 30.5%
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