toast to the times

In era of ‘fake news,’ a free press is more important than ever

by Yukiko Ogasawara

Chairwoman and Publisher, The Japan Times

Dear readers,

When looking back and thinking about the significance of the past 120 years, both in history and of the existence of The Japan Times, I am humbled and moved.

Yukiko Ogasawara
Yukiko Ogasawara

I am moved in a visceral kind of way that makes me feel the plight of humanity, thinking about all those sacrifices made in the pursuit of happiness and the fight for justice and peace.

I am also moved when I think of the men and women at The Japan Times who have put their all into the important task of reporting the news of the day in a fair and unbiased way. I am honored to even be associated with such an institution.

From its inception, The Japan Times has strived to be an independent voice seeking the understanding of Japan and its people. Though winds of change have at times put us at odds with both the government and popular sentiment, we have strived to maintain our independence while bearing witness to the growth of democracy and a nation emerging from the ashes of war.

Over the years, I believe we did what was essential to seek the truth in our reporting on the nation and the world, giving a voice to people who needed to be heard.

It is with this thought that I circle back to our time now and, once again, I am moved by the fact that 120 years on, as wars are still being fought and economic and political forces continue to shift, the need for accurate newsgathering and a free press is as strong as ever.

Despite the advances of civilization, we are seeing the emergence of agendas and “fake news” that do much damage by encouraging misconceptions between nations and peoples. More than ever, we are feeling the necessity for a credible and transparent media that can support a free and democratic world.

There also remains much work to be done in the mission to ensure that Japan — who we are and what we do — is understood around the world.

I want to thank all of our readers who have been loyal to us through all these years, and for your faith in us and in supporting what we stand for.

I would like to ask for your continued patronage and that you demand that we stay independent and critical in our reporting and balanced in our views.

Together, with your support, we look forward to the next 120 years.

May we prosper in peace.

Download the PDF of this 120th Anniversary Special


Back to special index