Since the 1980s, the Yomiuri Shimbun has consistently maintained its position as the top newspaper (based on circulation).
In 1874, the Yomiuri Shimbun was launched in Tokyo. Because the newspaper was aimed at the common people, the kanji (Chinese characters) had furigana (syllables printed next to the kanji to help people read). In 1897, the Yomiuri Shimbun started to publish Konjiki Yasha (The Gold Demon), a serial novel by Ozaki Kōyō who was a pioneer of popular novels. The company changed its name from Nissūsha to the Yomiuri Shimbunsha in 1917. Later, in 1934, the company started a professional baseball team called the Great Japan Tokyo Baseball Club (now Yomiuri Giants). This helped the company boost newspaper sales. After World War II, the company started to publish newspapers in all areas of the country, transforming it into a national newspaper. The company continued to grow as it merged with or acquired other companies. Eventually, it became a large-group company and changed its name to the Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings (Yomiuri Shimbun Gurūpu Honsha). Its affiliated media enterprises include Sports Hōchi (a sports newspaper published by the Hōchi Shimbunsha), Chūokoron-Shinsha, Inc., Nippon TV, and the Yomuiri Telecasting Corporation. The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings company also owns local radio stations, amusement parks, and symphony orchestras.
The Yomiuri Shimbun published “A Constitution Revision Draft from the Yomiuri Shimbun” three times (in 1994, 2000, and 2004). The biggest distinguishing features of the draft are new chapters that stipulate the principle of popular sovereignty and international cooperation, the explicit mention of the maintenance of a military (guntai) for self-defense, civilian control of the military, and the rejection of forced participation in the military. The right to the environment was also added to the chapter about the rights and duties of the people.