The weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun prides itself on taking on the establishment, which includes the mainstream media. One frequent target is the Asahi Shimbun, which to many is the liberal newspaper of record in Japan.

In its Nov. 11 and 18 issues, Shukan Bunshun ran exclusives about the death of a 33-year-old Asahi reporter, whose body had been found outside an Osaka condominium on the morning of Oct. 6 after having apparently fallen from a considerable height. The police found no evidence of foul play and judged the death a suicide. Two days earlier, the reporter, who covered local economic news, had posted tweets suggesting an article of his was written under pressure. He mentioned "pleasing ... someone in a position of power," and that if he had to produce such articles for these reasons, then the person giving the orders should "persuade or deceive me more skillfully."

Shukan Bunshun investigated the circumstances surrounding the pseudonymously identified reporter's death and learned that his editor, Tomoji Watanabe, had stopped coming to work following the incident because he was being transferred — not to a far-flung office, which is often the case with tainted employees, but rather to the company's editorial board.