Google’s support of the news industry in Japan

Twenty years ago, Google opened its first office in Japan. Today, we are announcing new investments that will continue our support of the country’s vibrant news industry. These investments will help people find quality journalism and contribute to the sustainability of news organizations. They will also help newsrooms engage their readers in new ways, through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Launching Google News Showcase in Japan 

To support news organizations and readers in Japan, we’re introducing Google News Showcase, our new curated online experience and licensing program. News Showcase panels display an enhanced view of an article or articles, giving participating publishers more ways to bring important news to readers and explain it in their own voice, along with more direct control of presentation and branding. The panels will appear across Google News on Android, iOS and the web, and in Discover on iOS and Android. They direct readers to the full articles on their websites, driving valuable traffic to those news organizations and enabling them to deepen their relationships with readers. 

Starting today, News Showcase is rolling out in Japan with more than 40 news publishers including national, regional and local news organizations like The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun Company, Nikkei Inc.,The Chunichi Shimbun, KAHOKU SHIMPO PUBLISHING CO. and The Kyoto Shimbun Co., Ltd., together with news agencies JIJI PRESS, LTD. and Kyodo News. This launch builds on News Showcase deals signed with nearly 1,000 news publications in more than a dozen countries, including India, Germany, Brazil, Canada, France, the U.K., Australia, Czechia, Italy, Colombia and Argentina,with discussions underway in several other countries. More than 90% of the publications that have joined News Showcase so far provide local or community news. 

The primary goal of News Showcase is to highlight news publishers that are invested in comprehensive current events journalism in the public interest. We are giving them a new way to curate their high-quality content on Google’s News and Discover platforms, bringing essential news coverage to readers looking for it.

This GIF shows examples of how News Showcase panels will look with the content of some of our news partners in Japan

Examples of how News Showcase panels will look with the content of some of our news partners in Japan.

As part of our licensing agreements with publishers for News Showcase, we're also paying participating news organizations to give readers access to a limited amount of paywalled content. This feature means readers will have the opportunity to read more of a publisher’s articles than they would otherwise be able to, encouraging them to learn more about the publication — and potentially subscribe. 

An example of how some of the news from our partners in Japan will look using News Showcase panels

Example of how some of the content from our News Showcase partners in Japan will look

What our partners have to say about News Showcase 

"We are joining Google News Showcase to deliver high-quality news content in the Chunichi Shimbun and the Tokyo Shimbun to as many people as possible,” says Koji Hirata, Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Chunichi Shimbun, the top regional newspaper covering Tokai, Chubu and the Kanto/Tokyo Metropolitan region. “Apart from daily news, we will select unique stories that capture multiple perspectives and introduce them to users. Through Google News Showcase, we want readers to find a wide variety of information in the Chunichi Shimbun Web and the Tokyo Shimbun TOKYO Web that helps them make better choices for their life and future.” 

“By participating in Google News Showcase, we look forward to extending the accurate and useful news we provide for people in Kyoto and Shiga,” says Tokuyuki Enjo, the Chief Editor of the Kyoto Shimbun, a local newspaper company covering the Kyoto and Shiga area. “In addition, we will work to bring content that touches upon the deep traditional culture and history of Kyoto to a broader audience than ever before.”

“We are thrilled to provide news from Okinawa Times globally through Google News Showcase,” says Kazue Yonamine, Director, Editor-in-Chief of The Okinawa Times, a local newspaper covering the Okinawa area. “Google's cooperation has become indispensable for the development of journalism. We aim to cooperate with each other and deliver useful information for the creation of a sustainable society.” 

“As a local newspaper, our mission has been to deliver global and local news to the community in print. In the digital era, we need to expand our role to deliver local news to a broader global audience." said Seichiro Hanafusa, the webmaster of Shikoku Shimbun, the local newspaper covering the Shikoku region. "Google News Showcase is a tool for us to deliver our news articles across Japan as well as the world, and lets users easily subscribe to our content. With this opportunity, we will work even harder to create valuable content that motivates users to pay for."

Logos of our Japan news partners for Google News Showcase

Logos of our Japan news partners for Google News Showcase

Expanded support through the Google News Initiative

News Showcase is just one part of our overall commitment to Japan’s news industry. We are expanding our Google News Initiative (GNI) efforts in Japan as well.  

Women Will Leadership Program: To promote a more inclusive culture for the news industry, we are launching a news-specific track of Google’s Women Will Leadership Program. Through two months of leadership skills training and problem solving workshops, this program will help women working in news to advance their careers and support companies seeking to drive change in the work environment.   

GNI Local Lab:We’re expanding the GNI Local Lab to support local news publishers in Japan. We will train more than 40 news publishers across regional prefectures with workshops and knowledge-sharing sessions to help news organizations improve their site performance and provide hands-on implementation support to grow digital revenue streams for local publishers. 

Build New Local: We are also supporting Build New Local, a project led by local newspapers to help them use technology to connect and digitally transform so they can become more sustainable and reach new audiences. Through Grow with Google and Google News Lab, Google has provided skills training in areas such as digital marketing and audience development. We also supported an idea hackathon, where local newspapers gathered to solve common challenges by sharing tips on design thinking from CSI: Lab, and a new business idea contest will start later this year.

These programs build on our long-term support for Japanese news organizations of all sizes. Through News Lab we have trained more than 18,000 journalists on digital reporting tools, fighting misinformation and covering Japan's upcoming elections. We’ve provided digital transformation training to publishers on reader revenue, audience and digital ads via the GNI Digital Growth Program, and advanced audience engagement recommendations via the News Consumer Insights tool.  And throughout the pandemic, our Journalism Emergency Relief Fund and GNI Innovation Challenge projects have helped local news organisations to continue providing the information their communities need. 

Japan’s news industry has embraced technology to engage with readers and make data-driven decisions. We believe digital platforms can contribute to a sustainable, independent and diverse news industry, working with journalists, news outlets and news associations. We’re proud to be strengthening our commitment through News Showcase, along with our other News products and GNI programs, to support quality journalism.