BBC goes commercial with Japanese-language website's Tokyo editors will curate and translate text and video content for local audiences

TOKYO — The BBC has launched its first fully commercially funded non-English-language news website — in Japanese

According to a statement from the BBC, will offer a range of business, entertainment and technology stories alongside news, analysis and features, comprising selected items from translated into Japanese.

Phoebe Price, a spokesperson from the BBC, explained that the BBC’s Tokyo-based editors would curate and translate an assortment of text and video content deemed most relevant and interesting to a Japanese audience. This will combine international news with features and analysis of stories with global and Japan-specific implications.

The BBC was unable to provide specific information as to advertisers upon launch or the advertising formats available on at time of publication, and we will update this story upon receipt. Price did not comment specifically on the thinking behind the decision to make Japan the first market to receive a fully commercially funded service, but said that Japan had been an important market for the organisation for a long time and that "we feel we can offer something fresh and new," providing Japanese audiences with easier access to "stories of global importance."

"We’ve been offering BBC World News for 20 years in this market and we know there is huge demand for digital content in Japanese. Now we have created a brand new, first-class digital offering that matches the quality of World News Japan within this competitive marketplace, allowing consumers to access in their own language the high quality, trustworthy news that the BBC is renowned for."

Existing commercial news products include the TV channel BBC World News, an international BBC News app and The BBC World Service’s websites, which operate in 28 languages, also carry advertising.

Upon completion of the commercial rollout, advertisers will "have the potential to reach 132 million browsers across the BBC’s digital international news offering," the statement said.

This article first appeared on

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