Yomiuri Shimbun on verge of absorbing Chuokoron

The long-established publishing firm Chuokoron-Sha Inc. has signed a tentative agreement with The Yomiuri Shimbun to be absorbed by the publisher of the mass-circulation daily newspaper.

The decision by Chuokoron, which has been suffering from about 12 billion yen in debts, may have a broad impact on the slumping publishing industry as a whole. It will be the first time such a well-respected publishing firm is placed under a newspaper group’s umbrella.

Under the deal announced at Yomiuri Shimbun’s headquarters in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, the publishing house will start anew next February under the new name of Chuokoron-Shinsha.

Founded in 1886, Chuokoron-Sha, is capitalized at 120 million yen and published 536 books in 1997, the fifth highest amount published that year by Japanese publishers.

It is known for its leading Chuokoron magazine of political, economic and literary commentary and also publishes monthly magazines for women, including Fujinkoron and Marie Claire.