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145 years after foundation, Mainichi Shimbun still striving for barrier-free society

Junichi Kawai (Mainichi)
Daichi Suzuki (Mainichi)
Hiroko Kawamoto (Mainichi)
Yoshihiko Kawauchi (Mainichi)
Shun Sakurai (Mainichi)

Feb. 21 marks the 145th anniversary of the Mainichi Shimbun's founding. The first edition was released in 1872. As the newspaper with the longest history in Japan, the Mainichi Shimbun has passed on the rapidly changing events of society, and we believe it was due to the support of many people that our paper was able to continue being published. As we sit at a turning point of history with the future not easy to predict, we look forward to 150 more years and beyond, dedicated to following "Mainichi journalism" -- thoroughly collecting and passing on the facts, and introducing a diversity of opinions.

    We are said to be living in an intolerant age, but the Mainichi Shimbun values diversity and is kind to people, and we aim for a barrier-free society -- both physically and mentally. We think the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be a big opportunity for that, and we have started a campaign called "Tomo ni 2020" (Together to 2020), starting with promoting the prevention of visually-impaired persons falling from train platforms.

    As part of this campaign, we have established a "Mainichi Universal" committee of experts to give advice and ideas for our articles. We hope it will become a "plaza" for debate from a variety of angles about the future of Japan.

    The committee consists of: Junichi Kawai, 41, chairman of the Paralympians Association of Japan; Yoshihiko Kawauchi, 63, professor at the Faculty of Human Life Design at Toyo University; Hiroko Kawamoto, 60, director at All Nippon Airways; Shun Sakurai, 63, former vice minister of internal affairs and communications and current adviser at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank; and Daichi Suzuki, 49, commissioner of the Japan Sports Agency.

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