1) In average how many minutes do you read newspapers per day?
not at all 15.4%
0-10 min 27.6%
10-30 min 42.2%
30-60 min 11.9%
over 60 min 2.9%

2) How many daily newspapers do you subscribe in your household?
none 19.2%
one 60.0%
two 17.1%
three or more 3.5%

3) Where do you read your newspaper?
home 77.1%
office 17.0%
internet 14.5%
train 5.2%
coffee shop 3.6%

4) Which newspaper sections do you regularly read?
Headlines 61.9%
TV listings 59.4%
International 49.4%
Domestic News 49.1%
Sports 36.2%
Crime/Accidents 35.4%
Politics 35.1%
Economy 31.7%
Weather 28.3%
Local News 24.8%
Ads 23.1%
Entertainment 21.1%
Editorials 16.2%
Lifestyle 11.4%
In June 2001, we sent questionnaires to about 5000 people who were registered in the category of Japan of our pen pal service, and who indicated that they are willing to participate in surveys. We received 834 valid responses from Japanese people who live in Japan. As always, over two thirds of the respondents were below the age of thirty, i.e. this survey is in no way representative for the whole Japanese population. However, it shows the trends among the younger Japanese generations.

According to our survey, over four out of five households subscribe to at least one daily newspaper while the remaining 19 percent do not subscribe to any newspaper. The large majority of 60 percent subscribe to one newspaper and 21 percent to two or more. In other words, the average household subscribes to slightly more than one newspaper. Indeed, the average number of newspaper subscriptions per household according to the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association was 1.18 in the year 1997.

Considering the high subscription rates, it is not surprising that the number of newspaper readers is also high. According to our survey results, a majority of people read newspapers for over 10 minutes per day, and only 15 percent do not read newspapers at all. Furthermore, the results suggest that men tend to read newspapers longer than women. A two third majority of 68 percent of male respondents indicated to read newspapers over 10 minutes per day (19 percent over 30 minutes). Among women, on the other hand, a majority of 54 percent indicated to read newspapers for less than 10 minutes per day or not at all.

Most people prefer to read their newspaper at home. 77 percent of survey participants responded that they usually read their newspapers at home. 24 percent of company workers read the newspaper in the office, and 9 percent in the train or bus. Only 4 percent responded to read their newspaper in coffee shops.

Finally, we examined which newspaper sections are the most popular. Once again, differences between the genders became apparent. Among men, the headlines section was by far the most frequently read part of the newspaper. 65 percent responded to read them regularly. Next were international news (51%), domestic news (50%), sports (50%), politics (47%), the economy (47%), the TV listings (45%) and the crimes and accident (39%) sections.

Among women, the TV listings topped the ranking list. 74 percent of the female survey respondents indicated to read the TV listings section of newspapers on a regular basis. Next were headlines (59%), international news (48%), domestic news (48%), the weather (32%), the crimes and accidents (32%), ads and classifieds (31%) and local news (29%).

Among the least frequently read newspaper sections were the lifestyle section (11%), editorials (16%), and entertainment (21%).

Top 5 sections among
male company workers
  1. Headlines (62.0%)
  2. Domestic News (55.4%)
  3. Sports (55.4%)
  4. Economy (53.3%)
  5. International News (47.8%)
Top 5 sections among
female company workers
  1. TV listings (71.4%)
  2. Headlines (65.3%)
  3. Domestic News (53.3%)
  4. International News (50.8%)
  5. Crimes and Accidents (39.2%)
Top 5 sections among
male students
  1. Headlines (66.7%)
  2. International News (45.8%)
  3. Sports (43.1%)
  4. TV listings (41.7%)
  5. Politics (38.9%)
Top 5 sections among
female students
  1. TV listings (76.6%)
  2. Headlines (53.5%)
  3. International News (46.5%)
  4. Domestic News (40.1%)
  5. Weather (36.5%)