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The news business in Japan has long been notoriously labor-intensive. Reporters assigned to the crime and disaster beats have largely relied on briefings from police officers or firefighters for their initial reports.

But to get a scoop or avoid falling behind their competitors, they have also toiled away at youchi asagake (visiting officials at their homes late at night or in the early morning for brief solitary chats with them).

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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