Toast to the Times

The former Japan Times building in Minato Ward.
The former Japan Times building in Minato Ward.

Sadayuki Sakakibara

Chairman, Keidanren

Sadayuki Sakakibara, Chairman, Keidanren (Japanese Business Federation)
Sadayuki Sakakibara, Chairman, Keidanren (Japanese Business Federation)

I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to The Japan Times on the 120th anniversary of its founding.

The Japan Times has the longest history and tradition among English newspapers in Japan and has, since its founding, consistently disseminated information abroad about Japan in a timely and appropriate manner. In so doing, you have played a prominent role in promoting mutual understanding between Japan and countries around the world. I therefore express my deep respect to the unceasing effort and achievements by all those concerned.

The paramount issue confronting us now is to ensure the achievement of a ¥600 trillion GDP economy by making sure that deflation is behind us and that our economy is revitalized. To accomplish this, we need to strengthen our growth strategy by resolutely pursuing measures such as promotion of “Society 5.0,” stimulation of domestic consumer sentiment, invigoration of regional economies, promotion of agriculture and tourism and, additionally, reform of our work style. At the same time, we need to tackle head-on issues that are not without pain to the people — regulatory reforms, social security system reform and budget consolidation, to name a few — to structurally reform our society.

In addition, against the background of increasing unpredictability in the global political and economic situation, Japan should lead the efforts to maintain and to develop further, free and open international economic order and be the driver of the global economy toward stable and sustainable growth.

For us to make progress in the efforts mentioned above, it is indispensable to have the understanding and sympathy of the international community. There is also a need to build a close relationship with other countries to concertedly tackle problems of global scale. The prerequisite in achieving the above is a speedy dissemination of accurate information about our efforts. Consequently, there is no doubt in my mind that your newspaper’s role will continue to grow.
I wish The Japan Times even greater success in the future.

Masataka Watanabe

President and CEO, The Asahi Shimbun

Masataka Watanabe, President and CEO, The Asahi Shimbun
Masataka Watanabe, President and CEO, The Asahi Shimbun

I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations on the 120th anniversary of The Japan Times.

I heard that The Japan Times was first published in 1897 (Meiji 30) as the first English-language newspaper issued by Japanese, with the aim to become a bridge between Japan and the world. It is said that the aim was to directly convey the development situation of Japan to European and American residents residing in Japan, and to encourage Japan to become a member of the international community, at the time when the amendment of the so-called unequal treaties hardly progressed. Today, The Japan Times is the representative English-language newspaper in Japan that  is disseminating information on Japan and the world both in Japan and abroad.

As a journalism peer, we at The Asahi Shimbun feel great pleasure in printing your paper at three locations in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, and helping you deliver your paper to nationwide, except for the Tokai area, through our delivery and dealer networks.

The Trump regime has been born in the U.S. The U.K. has chosen to withdraw from the European Union. The world is certainly in a turbulent situation. In times of such increasing uncertainty, we believe that the importance of printed media is still great as a way to deliver reliable information that people need.

The Asahi Shimbun will celebrate the milestone of 140 years in 2019. In order to continue being a trusted and necessary media, we have created a corporate philosophy of “Thinking together and making it together.” In addition to traditional research and reporting, we are also putting emphasis on a form of news report called “exploring problem-solving report,” in which we aim to contribute to solving social problems.

The current situation of having more than 20 million visitors from overseas annually, and rising interest toward Japan,  the Asahi Shimbun continues to report news in English on the website “Asia Japan Watch (AJW).” I think that this trend of a so-called Japan boom is a big opportunity for The Japan Times as an English-language newspaper that is reporting news on Japan, as well as the Asahi Shimbun.

I sincerely wish for your further development.

Nobuaki Koide

President, The Chunichi Shimbun

Nobuaki Koide, President, The Chunichi Shimbun
Nobuaki Koide, President, The Chunichi Shimbun

I am offering my heartful congratulations to the 120th anniversary of the launch of The Japan Times. Your newspaper played a significant role in modernizing Japan, and I applaud its trailblazing efforts.
The modernization of Japan after the Meiji Era is almost equal to the Westernization of the country.

Because of the modernization, the emperor doesn’t wear Japanese traditional clothing, and lives in Western style. The style of the British royal family in particular was introduced to the Imperial family and it remains today. Breakfast for the emperor is served in a British style with toast, tea, ham and eggs. The incumbent emperor, when he was crown prince, chose Great Britain as the destination of his first overseas trip to attend the coronation ceremony for Queen Elizabeth.

Taking this Westernization movement into the mainstream society, the Japanese brought in countless English words, adapting them into new Japanese words and making them popular in daily use.

These include Japanese terms ranging from important words of modern-days politics such as democracy, political party, liberty, republic and parliament to others such as company, male and female. The Japanese terms for those words were created in the Meiji Era through translating of those English words into Japanese.

Even the commonly used Japanese word of “teki” as used in “kateiteki,” meaning “domestic,” was created through English translation, based on the pronunciation of “tic” at the end of the English word. This Japanese word was later used in modern Chinese, and is now a word meaning “of.”
There is no doubt that many of those English words, which were the foundation of the modernization of the Japanese, spread to Japanese people via books imported in the Meiji Era, as well as by English-language newspapers, including The Japan Times, which was first published in 1897.

I myself learned current-affairs English through The Japan Times, and learned for the first time that the English word “run” can be used for a phrase such as “run for an election,” and that “fine” can be used as “a fine.”

It was a very practical English that was not taught in school. It was very useful to have such a command of English when I was in London as a correspondent. As a newspaperman, and as a Japanese citizen, I have, and will have, high expectations of your newspaper.

Toshihiro Yamamoto

President & CEO, Dentsu Inc.

Toshihiro Yamamoto, President & CEO, Dentsu Inc.
Toshihiro Yamamoto, President & CEO, Dentsu Inc.

I am offering my heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of The Japan Times’ 120th anniversary.
Around 1897, when your newspaper was launched, was a time when strengthening mutual understanding was needed between the Japanese government and governments of other countries, and between the Japanese public and foreign residents.

Japan had ended its national isolation policy in 1854, and it was only 43 years later when Japan’s first English-language newspaper was published — amid many hardships — by the hands of Japanese themselves, in cooperation with intellectuals such as Yukichi Fukuzawa and Hirobumi Ito. I have reverence for this historical fact.

It was a time when Japan, handicapped with a language barrier, had only scarce sources of information on international affairs, and I believe that the launch of The Japan Times had a significant meaning, not only to foreign people living in Japan, but also to many Japanese, in terms of Japan being familiar with the global trends, as well as ascertaining how the world sees Japan.

In 1900, only three years after the launch of your newspaper, Nitobe Inazo published the first edition of his work, “Bushido” (The Soul of Japan), earning high esteem in international society. I believe that the launch of The Japan Times served as germination to a lot of Japanese to nurture a global scope of views, and as the vanguard to give many people courage to take the first step outside Japan.

Looking at The Japan Times from the early days of its launch, the news articles and advertisements carried on the pages give me a vivid touch of the pioneer spirit of those who spent memorable lives in the Meiji Era, as well as the hard work of the founders. It is awe inspiring, and brought me a pure and innocent feeling as someone engaged in the advertising and communication business.

Your newspaper publishes a special edition for every significant international meeting such as the World Economic Forum, which is held every year, and the G-7 summit meeting, which was held in Ise-Shima last year, earning a high level of readership trust over a long period of time as an English-language medium read among Japan-based ambassadors and other executives on a daily basis.

Additionally, I am convinced that it is the high spirit of your company, which remains untarnished since the launch of your newspaper, and the mightiness of the pen that maintains the high quality of the papers.

Once again, congratulations on your 120th anniversary in publishing The Japan Times and on behalf of the entire Dentsu Group, I wish your esteemed newspaper further prosperity in the coming years.

Hisao Omori

President & CEO, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners Inc.

Hisao Omori, President & CEO, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners Inc.
Hisao Omori, President & CEO, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners Inc.

On the occasion of The Japan Times 120th anniversary, I cordially offer my congratulations from the bottom of my heart.
I am deeply impressed with The Japan Times’ efforts to continue providing coverage as the nation’s largest selling English-language newspaper through a long history dating back to the Meiji Era.

In recent years, movements to seek positive ways to resolve issues affecting society are seen everywhere. Futuristic technologies created by sophisticated engineers, young people trying to succeed in new businesses connected with social networking services and local communities that are reborn through innovative efforts are just a few examples of such movements.

I would like to think disseminating these developments to the world as “Japan’s vigorous problem solving ability” will gain more attention from foreign countries, helping boost energy domestically. Having the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to Japan in three years, I would like to draw the world’s attention to the efforts of Japan looking beyond the special event. Drawing attention and positive expectations from the world by showcasing Japan insightfully and intelligibly is the future role of The Japan Times and I truly wish for your continued success.

Shinichi Ueno

President & Group CEO, ASATSU-DK Inc.

Shinichi Ueno, President & Group CEO, ASATSU-DK Inc.
Shinichi Ueno, President & Group CEO, ASATSU-DK Inc.

I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations on the 120th anniversary of The Japan Times.

It is impressive that The Japan Times was established as Japan’s oldest English newspaper 120 years ago, when Japan was under rapid modernization and times were turbulent. There must have been many hardships to overcome, and I would like to express my deep respect to the newspaper and its staff. For such a long time, you have kept the window to Japan open to show what is happening every day.

Compared to 120 years ago, Japan and the situation of the world surrounding her has changed a great deal. The situation surrounding consumers, those who buy and read the newspaper, has also seen much change. Today we have the internet, and anybody can know what’s happening on the other side of the globe in a blink. Anybody can share information at their will, with no hassle. However, this free tide of information has caused an overflow, making it difficult to winnow the truth from false. The media’s responsibility in sending out true and reliable information, especially those with sound histories, is becoming more important than ever before. With the coming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the role of English media in Japan will become stronger, too.

I look forward to the further advancement of The Japan Times.

Paul Madden, CMG

British Ambassador to Japan

Paul Madden, CMG, British Ambassador to Japan
Paul Madden, CMG, British Ambassador to Japan

Congratulations to The Japan Times on the occasion of its 120th anniversary. Since its inception in 1897, when some of my fellow countrymen were among its first readers, The Japan Times has provided a valuable service to the foreign community in Japan and has gained an excellent reputation for its reporting. I first started reading The Japan Times in the 1980s, so I have known the paper for a quarter of its lifetime. It plays a valuable role in explaining Japan to the world, and the world to Japan.

Britain and Japan have enjoyed a long historic relationship, going right back to the days of Miura Anjin. Britons played a prominent role in the events of the Meiji Restoration, whose 150th anniversary we will soon be celebrating. Today our relationship continues to go from strength to strength.
Economically, Britain is home to over 1,000 Japanese companies and £40 billion of Japanese investment. Politically, as countries that share common values, we are working together in international forums such as the U.N. and G-7/G-20, as well as in many places around the world. Our closeness was symbolized last year by the sight of British Typhoon fighter jets conducting joint exercises with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces in the skies above Japan.

I’m sure The Japan Times will continue to report these, and other global issues in the years ahead. Omedeto gozaimasu (congratulations).

Viorel Isticioaia-Budura

Ambassador of the European Union

Viorel Isticioaia-Budura, Ambassador of the European Union
Viorel Isticioaia-Budura, Ambassador of the European Union

It is a great pleasure for me to be given this opportunity to address the readers of The Japan Times on the auspicious occasion of its 120th anniversary. I salute the commitment, dedication and pride of its publishers and staff over the decades, during which this publication has served as a solid, reliable bridge between the world and Japan, even in times when such an endeavor might have been seen as difficult, both from political and business perspectives.

The world has changed greatly over these past 120 years. Europe itself has undergone a profound transformation during this time — so much so that a map of Europe, particularly continental Europe, in the last years of the 19th century would be almost unrecognizable today. In just a few days’ time, on March 25, the European Union will celebrate its own special day with the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome, which established the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community, creating the foundations of the present-day EU.

Japan, with which we share values such as democracy, open markets, respect for human rights and the rule of law, is a key partner for the EU, and our bilateral ties have steadily expanded from the trade-focused relationship of the 1970s and ’80s to a broad, strategic partnership that now takes in a wide range of policy areas that stretches from development assistance to energy security to outer space and cyberspace. We are now in the homestretch of finalizing parallel negotiations toward free trade and strategic partnership agreements. I hope The Japan Times will continue to follow developments in our bilateral relationship as we strive to take it to a new level.

It was in May 1897 that the Italian inventor and physicist Guglielmo Marconi sent the world’s first-ever wireless communication over open sea. And now, 120 years on, we live in an age where information can literally be found at one’s fingertips, just a click or swipe away. But however diverse and instantaneous the communication tools at our disposal may become, the importance of conveying facts must not take a backseat, and I am confident that The Japan Times will continue to carry on its tradition of upholding its motto of “All the news without fear or favor” for many decades to come.

Estifanos Afeworki

Ambassador of ERITREA and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps

Estifanos Afeworki, Ambassador of ERITREA and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps
Estifanos Afeworki, Ambassador of ERITREA and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps

It is a great honor for me to convey on behalf of the African Diplomatic Corps (ADC) and myself this congratulatory message on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the founding of The Japan Times.

As Japanese is not widely — really quite sparsely — used in our continent of Africa, many of my colleagues have to scramble, on arriving to their new posts in Tokyo, in a new environment to find ways to follow news and events. I am sure many would agree that The Japan Times not only came to their rescue, but it also greatly helped them to adjust smoothly to the new vibrant political, cultural and economic environment of this great country. A friend in need is a friend indeed and I am sure this relationship has greatly helped in enhancing and deepening understandings between Japan and our countries. I am sure many of our citizens residing in Japan have similarly benefited from their daily reading experiences of The Japan Times.

I would especially like to take this opportunity to express the African Diplomatic Corps’ heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to The Japan Times for the continued support it gave to our group in the promotion of the strategic importance of the African continent and our countries to Japan and vice versa since the first Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) in 1993.

Andre Correa do Lago

Ambassador of Brazil

Andre Correa do Lago, Ambassador of Brazil
Andre Correa do Lago, Ambassador of Brazil

The year 1897 was indeed a very special one. The great Brazilian composer Pixinguinha, author of the mythical song “Carinhoso,” was born in Rio de Janeiro in April. Brazil opened in September its first diplomatic mission in Tokyo, a legation headed by career diplomat Henrique Carlos Ribeiro Lisboa. And, of course, The Japan Times printed its first edition on March 22.

Brazilians living in Japan have been subscribers, readers and contributors to The Japan Times since the very beginning. As a matter of fact, Lisboa had one of his first speeches in Tokyo — only three months after his arrival in Japan — published by the newly established newspaper. Lisboa talked about the advantages of immigration and trade, vowing to work “to the benefit of two nations whose mutual sympathy is already as strong as the distance that separates them is great” (“Japan and Brazil,” The Japan Times, Dec. 21, 1897).

Then, just as now, Brazilians and Japanese were aware of the extraordinary potential offered by an ever-closer partnership. Japanese immigration to Brazil began in 1908, and as a result, my country is home to almost 2 million people of Japanese descent, inseparable constituents of the unique and megadiverse Brazilian national identity. A quarter of a century ago, it was Brazil’s turn to help diversify Japanese society. Today, I am proud to see 180,000 of my fellow people in Japan, willing to contribute the same way as Japanese immigrants to Brazil did.

Throughout its history, The Japan Times has been true to its mission of developing a better understanding between Japanese people and foreign residents. Among the many fundamental values shared by both Brazilian and Japanese societies, the importance given to a free and vibrant press occupies a top spot on the list. It is thus with great pleasure and a sense of gratitude that I offer my congratulations to The Japan Times on the occasion of its 120th anniversary. May it have 120 more years of good and fair reporting, printing “All the news without fear or favor.” As we say in Portuguese, Feliz Aniversario e Parabens!

Frank C. T. Hsieh

Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan

Frank C. T. Hsieh, Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan
Frank C. T. Hsieh, Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan

Let me extend my congratulations on the 120th anniversary of The Japan Times. Based in Japan, your English newspaper has long been a valuable source bridging Japan and the world by sending out the country’s latest information to the international community, carrying a wealth of news on international affairs and sharp analytical articles. We highly appreciate the paper’s efforts to actively deliver what is happening in the Republic of China (Taiwan) and to introduce Taiwan to both Japanese and foreign people in Japan in a comprehensible way, especially in the Taiwan Special Supplement published on Double Ten Day every October.

Taiwan and Japan have enjoyed long-lasting friendly relations with deep geographical and historical ties. In recent years, we have seen a rapid increase in bilateral tourist traffic. Last year, the number of such tourists surpassed a record-high 6 million.

The cooperation between Taiwan and Japan has been increasingly important with further development of economic exchanges. The five major innovative industries development plans and the New Southbound Policy promoted by President Tsai Ing-wen will not only help to further expand the collaboration between companies in Taiwan and Japan, but also set out to provide benefits for joint investments in Southeast Asia and other areas. To further strengthen economic ties with other countries, Taiwan will actively call for its participation in regional economic integrations, and at the same time hope for a bilateral economic partnership agreement with Japan.

It is likely that there would be accelerated changes in the security and economy surrounding East Asia this year following the inauguration of the U.S. President Donald Trump. It is necessary to further shore up cooperation among the U.S. and Asia Pacific countries based on the friendly ties between Taiwan and Japan.

The fact that your paper has continued to publish for the past 120 years is proof that many readers acknowledge the quality of your coverage. I’m convinced that your paper will further play important roles in the modern era of ongoing globalization. Let me conclude by again congratulating The Japan Times on its 120th anniversary and wishing for its further development.

A printing section worker checks a copy of The Japan Times in a photo dated May 3, 1966.
A printing section worker checks a copy of The Japan Times in a photo dated May 3, 1966.

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