Wall Street Journal Japan KK formed in Tokyo

Friday, May 8, 2009, 10:46 by Business Editor

Wall Street Journal Japan KK, a joint venture between Dow Jones (publishers of Wall Street Journal) and SBI Holdings Japan has been formed. Wall Street Journal Japan KK will launch a Japanese language website sometime later this year, Dow Jones said.

Wall Street Journal Japan KK will have an arrangement with Dow Jones to translate and publish content from Wall Street Journal Asia and other Wall Street Journal editions, apart from Far Eastern Economic Review, AllthingsD.com, Barron’s and other Dow Jones publications. Later, Wall Street Journal Japan KK will also launch mobile products and services which customers can make use of. The Wall Street Journal Japan KK will shortly appoint a managing editor for the Japanese venture, who will supervise the editorial team in Tokyo. Wall Street already has two regional websites in Asia – for China and India. While the Chinese WSJ website is in Chinese language, the Indian website – india.wsj.com – is in English. So, the Japanese venture will be the second language edition of the Wall Street Journal in Asia.

Dow Jones obviously sees its Japanese venture Wall Street Journal Japan KK as a stepping stone to the large Japanese market. This will help the Journal expand its WSJ franchise in Japan, the world’s second largest economy, which has a highly-educated and productive population. A couple of months back, Dow Jones entered into an agreement with the publishers of Yomiuri Shimbun, the largest Japanese newspaper, which is also the largest newspaper in the world by daily circulation. As per the agreement Yomiuri Shimbun will get the rights to reprint articles from the Wall Street Journal editions, while Yomiuri Shimbun will print and circulate the Wall Street Journal in Japan. Wall Street Journal will be published 5 days a week in Japan, thanks to Yomiuri Shimbun. Wall Street Journal has started printing in Japan from March 2009.

At the signing of the agreement, Yomiuri officials spoke highly of the Wall Street Journal brand: “The Wall Street Journal Asia is highly influential and is widely respected in the world’s political and economic spheres for its acclaimed news coverage—in particular economic and financial news. Today’s wide-ranging agreement to print and distribute The Wall Street Journal Asia in Japan and to publish Wall Street Journal articles in The Yomiuri Shimbun is a historic decision. Indeed, it is good news not only for the top echelons of Japan’s political, governmental, business and academic sectors but also for the country’s general readership,”  Mr. Shoichi Oikawa, president and executive editor of The Yomiuri Shimbun, said.

Yomiuri Shimbun, the largest newspaper in Japan, also aligns well with the conservative nature of The Wall Street Journal. The other large Japanese newspaper, Asahi Shimbun, has an alliance with New York Times/International Herald Tribune, both of them sharing fairly liberal ideologies.

The Wall Street Journal Asia is edited and published in Hong Kong. The paper is printed in nine Asian cities-Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo. There are also plans to start a facsimile edition of The Wall Street Journal from New Delhi in India.

Wall Street Journal recently received from the Indian  government to launch its facsimile (fax) edition in India. The foreign investment promotion board (FIPB), has granted approval for a Dow Jones proposal to invest Rs 2.1 crore for an Indian subsidiary, which will bring out the fax edition. Unconfirmed reports have said that The Indian Express in New Delhi will print Wall Street Journal at its presses, which will be prices at Rs 30 and headed by Suman Dubey.

As per Indian regulations, foreign media firms are allowed to hold upto a maximum of 26% in the print media. Dow Jones officials have been quoted in the media as saying that the company is willing to think of an Indian edition, only if the obstacles to foreign media are removed.

In a recent interview, Mitya New, managing director Dow Jones in India expressed confidence about the company’s prospects in the country. He said that Dow Jones plans to double its investments in India in the next couple of years. The expansion will be Dow Jones Newswires, the facsimile edition of Wall Street Journal, sales and marketing and Factiva. Dow Jones is expected to expand its Bombay office first, followed by Delhi.

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