One Year of Tokyo Review

Birthday Cake

It’s the first anniversary of Tokyo Review’s launch – we reveal some figures from our first year, and list the top articles we’ve published so far.

On July 12, 2017 – one year ago today – we announced Tokyo Review to the world. Our intention from the outset was to create a platform where young scholars and researchers could share their insights into Japan, both giving depth and context to current events and exploring social, political and cultural questions that deserve international attention. We wanted to steer clear of tedious Orientalist stereotypes of “wacky Japan” and extreme ideological positions alike, and give the world’s third-largest economy, Asia’s longest-standing democracy, its due respect and consideration.

Our first year – running on a shoestring budget with no institutional support and server costs paid for through dipping into the editors’ beer money – has been a proof of concept that has outstripped our expectations. We have published 95 in-depth articles on Japan, authored by 13 different young Japan scholars from around the globe. Articles on topics as diverse as the Abe Administration’s scandals, the reticence of Japanese hospitals to use epidurals for childbirth, the technical difficulty of shooting down North Korean missile tests and the problems with mainland Japan’s “Okinawa Boom” have been spread and cited widely around the Internet, helping to spark and inform discussions on Japan both on- and off-line.

As we celebrate our first anniversary, we’ve just seen our fifth straight month of record traffic to the site. Over 18,000 people read articles on Tokyo Review during June; around 5,200 of you follow us on Facebook, and just shy of 850 on Twitter, along with several hundred people who subscribe to the site over email or through a blog subscription. We couldn’t have done this without our readers; thanks to each and every one of you who has liked, shared, retweeted or subscribed to any of our articles.

Our plans for Year Two are even bigger – and if you’re a graduate student, academic or researcher who focuses on Japan and are interested in publishing your work on Tokyo Review, we’d love to hear from you. We’re happy to work with promising graduate students to copy-edit and polish your work for publication, and are always delighted to receive submission proposals from across the board – not just related to political or economic questions, but also to society, culture and the arts. If you’re a professor with promising graduate students who you think deserve a platform, please point them our way – and if you’ve published an academic paper on Japan you think could have a wider impact as a more accessible article on a popular website, we’re only too happy to work with you on that as well. Our editorial submission box is always open!

The Most Read Articles from our First Year…


  1. His Master’s Voice: The LDP and Dentsu
  2. Abe vs. Aso: The Moritomo Scandal Divides the LDP
  3. Who Will Lead Japan after September?
  4. Trump-Kim is Abe’s Nightmare Summit
  5. Abe May Survive the Moritomo Scandal – But to Whose Benefit?


  1. Japan’s Unfolding AirBnB Disaster
  2. The Myth of Japan’s Bored Police
  3. The Dark Side of Japan’s “Okinawa Boom”
  4. Book Review: Japan’s Population Implosion
  5. Japan by the Numbers: Birth is Too Painful


  1. Japan by the Numbers: “Karoshi”
  2. Japan by the Numbers: Productivity and Overwork
  3. Where did Japan’s Imported Rice Go?
  4. What do Security Guards say about Japan’s Economy?
  5. Japan by the Numbers: Permanent Employment


  1. What to make of the Self Defence Force “Log Scandals”
  2. Japan, North Korea, and the Trump Shock
  3. Japan’s National Security Secretariat, Four Years On
  4. Shooting Down DPRK Missile Tests Won’t Work
  5. Japan’s Maritime Strategy and the Dynamics of Denial

If you’d like to keep up with Tokyo Review, a great way to do so is by subscribing to our newsletter, which is emailed directly to subscribers and includes a round-up of the best writing on Japan from our site and across the web, along with early access to this op-ed column. It’s free to subscribe, so sign up below!

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