About

  • Tansa is an independent, nonprofit, investigative newsroom based in Tokyo.

    Our investigations reveal — and aim thereby to end — wrongdoing by the powerful, such as government bodies and corporations. We approach our work by considering what needs to change in order to achieve redress for injustice and ensure that others are not harmed by similar wrongdoing in the future.

    In 2022, Japan ranked 71st in Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index. The country’s major media organizations, prioritizing their own business interests, often fail to sufficiently monitor power or to speak up for the victims of its abuses. We believe independent, investigative journalism is essential for the Japanese public.

  • In order to maintain our editorial independence, Tansa does not run ads. And we don’t have a paywall, so our stories are available to everyone. Our funding comes mainly from reader donations, grants from foundations, and proceeds from our online journalism course. If you believe in Tansa’s mission, please consider supporting our work.

    As governments, corporations, and criminals increasingly work across borders, so too must the journalists who investigate them. In 2018, Tansa became Japan’s first official member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), which as of July 2021 is comprised of 235 independent, nonprofit media organizations in 89 countries. Since beginning publication, we have participated in numerous cross-border investigations together with journalists from over a dozen countries.

Tansa’s promises to our readers

  • 1. Unflagging investigations

    Tansa aims for our work to have concrete impact by ending abuses of power. We choose the subjects of our investigations with an eye to finding solutions to problems affecting society. When we select a reporting topic, we commit to following the story in the long term.

  • 2. Time and effort

    Investigative journalism requires significant time and effort. Through extensive research, interviews, and discussion with sources, we obtain and report on information that would otherwise not have come to light.

  • 3. World-class skill

    Through learning from and partnering with other investigative journalists around the world, we will continue to hone our skills in order to produce world-class journalism.

  • 4. Uncensored reporting

    We will always act based on journalistic ethics. Our investigations and reporting won’t hold back, no matter who or what their subject may be.

  • 5. Training the next generation

    Through our online journalism course, Tansa offers young and aspiring journalists across Japan the skills they need to work at a high professional level. We aim to raise the overall standard of journalism in Japan.

  • Impact and reports

    We began publication in February 2017 under our previous name, Waseda Chronicle, as a project of the Waseda University Institute for Journalism. As a media organization incubated in a university, we aimed to both produce investigative works and train journalists. In February 2018, one year after we began publication, we left Waseda University and became an independent nonprofit in order to clarify the editorial responsibility for our work. With the same original aim of training journalists, in November 2020 we launched Tansa School, an online journalism course. In March 2021, we changed our name from Waseda Chronicle to Tokyo Investigative Newsroom Tansa.

  • Impact and reports
  • Awards
    2017
    Supporter of the Free Press Award from the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan
    2018
    Poverty Journalism Grand Prize from the Anti-Poverty Network
    2019
    Linked Open Data Excellence Award in the application field from the LOD Challenge
    2020
    Open and Big Data Award from VLED
    Journalism X Award from the Journalism Citizen Support Fund
    2022
    The Society of Publishers in Asia Awards 2022
    PEP Journalism Awards 2022 from Asia Pacific Initiative
  • Awards
Archives

Reports

Financial report 2020
Financial report 2021

Publications

The Emerging Investigative Journalism Movement in Japan and Asia (web view, print view)

Meet the team

  • Makoto Watanabe

    Makoto Watanabe

    Editor-in-chief

    Before founding Tansa, I worked for 16 years as a reporter in the Asahi Shimbun metro and investigative sections. Investigative journalism requires significant time, effort, and funds, and brings with it the threat of litigation. Japan’s major media are less and less willing to take those risks, but I can’t resist opening the lid of that Pandora’s box. I may weigh over 0.1 tons, but my hobby is running marathons!

  • Mariko Tsuji

    Mariko Tsuji

    Reporter

    I aim for my reporting to benefit those being harmed in the shadows of power. Tansa represents a totally new model for Japan’s media, and as our public relations lead I work to ensure our high-quality reporting reaches a wide audience. I majored in journalism in university and have also worked as a magazine reporter.

  • Nanami Nakagawa

    Nanami Nakagawa

    Reporter

    I love feeling that my work can have a positive impact on society. As a university student, I organized concerts for the benefit of those impacted by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and I also hitchhiked across Japan. After graduating, I worked for Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, where I was inspired by many individuals combatting injustice and actively changing the world around them — that’ll be me too!

  • Yuka Ogura

    Yuka Ogura

    Reporter

    I was born in 1993 and grew up in Okinawa, Japan. I studied photography in Denmark for six months in 2021. I decided to become a journalist after seeing a news photo of a caregiver hugging an elderly woman in Sao Paulo during the Corona disaster. After returning to Japan, I wanted to gain experience as a reporter at Tansa because I read articles about forced sterilization and empathized with the reporters' willingness to tackle big business and politics without taboos.

  • Makoto Sano

    Makoto Sano

    Volunteer

    I joined Tansa as a volunteer in 2020 because I sympathize with their commitment to addressing injustice. I studied drama in university, have made 8mm films, and enjoy music, visual arts, and literature. To me, investigative journalism can be seen as another form of art in its quest for truth, humanistic roots, and potential for impact.

  • International Advisory Board

    ・Steven Butler, Asia Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists (United States)
    ・Tatsuro Hanada, Sociologist (Japan)
    ・Gerd Kopper, Professor Emeritus, TU University Dortmund (Germany)
    ・Charles Lewis, Executive Editor, Investigative Reporting Workshop (United States)
    ・I-Hsuan Lin, Professor of Sociology, Rikkyo University (Japan)
    ・Kaori Matsui, Representative Director, Japan Innovation & Succession Fund; Representative Director, Japan Innovation & Succession Inc. (Japan)
    ・Robert J. Rosenthal, Former Executive Director, Center for Investigative Reporting (United States)
    ・Hiroaki Yabe, Executive Director, Sokoage; Professor, Tohoku University of Art and Design (Japan)

    Click here for board members’ profiles.

  • Copyright and responsibility for content

    Copyright for the material published on this website belongs to Tansa. The editor-in-chief is responsible for all facts and opinions therein.

  • Privacy and cookie policies

    Click here to read our privacy and cookie policies.

  • Newsletter

    Tansa’s English-language newsletter introduces our latest work and offers readers a peek behind the scenes in our newsroom. You don’t have to be a donating member to subscribe; simply enter your email and name below. And you’re always welcome to hit reply!
     

    See our Japanese page if you want to subscribe to Tansa’s Japanese newsletter as well.

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  • Larger donors (FY2020-)

    Judith Neilson Institute 小河正義ジャーナリスト基金 ラッシュジャパン合同会社 公益財団法人ウェスレー財団