The Asahi Shimbun – Bias and Credibility

Asahi Shimbun - Left Center Bias - Liberal - CredibleFactual Reporting: High - Credible - Reliable


These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias.  They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes.  These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation. See all Left-Center sources.

  • Overall, we rate The Asahi Shimbun Left-Center biased based on story selection and editorial positions that moderately favor the left and High for factual reporting due to a clean fact check record.

Detailed Report

Factual Reporting: HIGH
Country: Japan
World Press Freedom Rank: Japan 66/180


Founded in 1879, The Asahi Shimbun also known as Asahi News, is one of Japan’s oldest and largest national daily newspapers. It was founded by Ryohei Murayama and Riichi Ueno. The Asahi Shimbun is headquartered in Osaka, Japan and their coverage includes wire articles, press releases, as well as opinion pieces regarding politics.

In 2013, US news website and content aggregator Huffington Post launched a Japanese edition with Asahi. Further, according to their about page, The Asahi Shimbun also has alliances with The New York Times (U.S.) and the Dong-A Ilbo (South Korea).

Read our profiles on Japan’s media and government

Funded by / Ownership

Michiko Murayama is the owner of The Asahi Shimbun. Masataka Watanabe is the President, CEO, and Managing Director, while the Executive Editor is Yoichi Nishimura. A complete list of directors can be found here. The Asahi Shimbun is funded through advertising and a metered paywall, in which you get 5 or 10 articles a month for free, then you have to subscribe to read more. 

Analysis / Bias

The Asahi is known for its liberal/progressive views and often has been criticized by right-leaning media in Japan. According to Foreign Policy, In 2014, Asahi ran an article about Comfort Women, a euphemism for sex slaves commonly used in Imperial Japan during WW2 as well as investigations into Fukushima, which later The Asahi pulled back from following right-wing criticism led by Prime Minister Abe himself, where he accused Asahi of damaging Japan’s reputation.

In 2017, according to Japanese Daily Mainichi Shimbun, the Japanese right-wing nationalist political party (Nippon Ishin- Japan Innovation Party) lawmaker Yasushi Adachi attacked The Asahi Shimbun, for being biased over an editorial. Also, in 2017, The Asahi Shimbun published an investigative report involving the current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife Akie, over a Conservative Government land deal, and tampering with official records. Due to its coverage of the scandal, The Asahi Shimbun became the target of criticism by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

When covering national news, The Asahi Shimbun utilizes moderately loaded emotional language such as this: “Medical school rigged exam scores to keep female ratio low.” and “EDITORIAL: METI’s clerical error excuse does nothing to explain JIC mess.” All stories are sourced to credible media outlets.

When covering world news, such as the USA, they use minimally loaded language such as “Japan denies Trump made Pearl Harbor remark to Abe” and they tend to source to credible sources such as the Washington Post. The Asahi Shimbun also publishes articles from the Associated Press.  

A factual search reveals that The Asahi Shimbun has not failed a fact check.

Overall, we rate The Asahi Shimbun Left-Center biased based on story selection and editorial positions that moderately favor the left and High for factual reporting due to a clean fact check record. (M. Huitsing 12/17/2018)


Last Updated on June 30, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check

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