The Huffington Post has officially launched a Japan edition of the popular news site.
The Japanese website is the Huffington Post’s first edition in Asia, after the publication opened offices in the UK, Canada, France, Spain, and Italy, along with the United States.
In December of last year Huffington Post Media Company and Asahi Shimbun Co signed a deal to launch Huff Post Japan as a joint venture. Asahi Shimbun runs Japan’s leading newspaper of the same name.
Huffington Post editor and political socialite Arianna Huffington, who has been in Japan helping to launch the site, announced the launch with a lengthy English-language post on the U.S. website.
“The launch of Huffington Post Japan represents the fulfillment of our goal of inviting ever more voices from around the world to join our growing global conversation. And it's living proof — since Huffington Post Japan is "live" as of today — of the way 21st century media have transcended once-formidable barriers of geography, language, and culture.”
Huffington noted that the Japan edition was going live at a critical moment in the country’s storied history, with new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeking to revive an economy that has remained stagnate for the better part of two decades, and much of the country still reeling from the 3/11 natural and nuclear disasters.
In addition to covering political events in the country, Huffington wrote that, “HuffPost Japan will be exploring and celebrating the country's culture, from deeply-rooted traditions — including zen meditation and tea ceremonies, with their rich rituals and fascinating tea masters like Sen no Rikyu — to its embrace of oddball pursuits, like, yes, crying baby contests.”
The website has an impressive launch day lineup, with posts from two Parliamentarians as well as a former Miss Japan.
The Huffington Post is expected to continue bringing its news portal to different countries in the coming years. In December, at the time it reached the deal with Asahi to launch HuffPost Japan, Jimmy Maymann, the chief executive of Huffington Post, said the company hoped to have a presence in 15 countries in the next year and a half. With the launch of HuffPost Japan, it is in seven countries.
By that time, Maymann said the company also hoped the aggregate international editions’ traffic numbers would equal the U.S. edition, which boasts 50 million unique viewers a month. In December he estimated the international editions attracted 20 million unique viewers.