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Rising costs death knell for local evening newspapers

Date Posted: 2009-01-29

The evening editions of the Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo newspapers will cease to exist March 2nd.

Okinawa Times officials say the last evening issues will be February 28th, after which parts of the evening newspaper will be integrated into the morning editions. At the same time, the subscription price for Okinawa Times will drop from ¥3,160 to ¥2,990. “We feel very sorry about abolishing the evening paper,” a Times official says, “and we know readers will have trouble with it.” The spokesman said “we want every reader to understand that circumstances of the world financial crisis and environment are hitting us, too.”

The evening editions have been published since July 1952, four years after the newspaper began publication. Okinawa Times says “our advertising circumstances and demands have gone down so much, they threaten even publishing the paper, and then paper costs have gone up.” He said the cost is so high, there are questions about future economic recovery for the paper. “We thought about increasing the subscription price, but we know it is impossible to do, so we thought it better to abolish the evening paper.”

Some sections of the evening editions, including entertainment and movies news will move to the morning editions, and the morning paper will increase the number of pages. Officials say more emphasis will be placed on the Okinawa Times internet service, too. “We will still hold fast to spirits of establishment, and will inform future generations with very accurate news,” one official promised. He said “Since our first publication in 1948, we have been hoping that war will never again happen. ‘The hope for the peaceful world’ has been our original, and we will do our best to promote cultures and raise human life to the next generation.”

The other Okinawan daily, the Ryukyu Shimpo, also announced in their Wednesday edition that they will abolish their evening paper starting March 2.

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