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Yasuomi Sawa

Kyodo News
Deputy Editor, Investigative and In-Depth Reporting
Tokyo, Japan

Yasuomi Sawa is a Japanese journalist and deputy editor for investigative and in-depth reporting of Kyodo News, which is Japan’s largest news wire service. As leading the team of three investigative reporters, he works hard to dig deeper and innovate Japanese journalism by making it more independent and aggressive. 

Amongst his recent work are the sex exploitation of teenage girls in Tokyo, the government’s failure to track the school enrolment of more than 10,000 immigrant children and overpopulation of public shelters for abused children in Tokyo and Chiba up to 150% of their capacity. 

Prior to this position, he worked in New York for three and a half years as Kyodo’s correspondent primarily covering the United Nations. Amongst the topics was UN Security Council’s struggle to stop North Korea’s provocative actions including its third nuclear test and the Council’s stalemate on Syrian crisis. He was also an Executive Board member of United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA).

Earlier in his career he devoted many years to reporting on law issues, such as covering trials, crime investigations, and judicial systems such as the introduction of the lay judge (jury) system in 2009 and the eight-year-long trial of the cult group leader who masterminded the Tokyo underground sarin gas attack in 1995.

In 2006, Mr. Sawa took a year off to pursue research at Oxford University in the United Kingdom as a visiting journalist fellow of the Reuters Institute of Study of Journalism. There he produced a research paper for the institute, focused on the comparison of crime coverage in Japan and Britain. 

Mr. Sawa teaches journalism practice at the Journalism School of Waseda University in Tokyo as a part-time lecturer. 

He wrote the book “Humanising the News: British Way of Crime Coverage” and co-authored another book “Lay Judge System in the World: An Illustrated Guide for Courtrooms in 14 Countries,” both published in Japanese.
He joined Kyodo in 1990 after he graduated from the University of Tokyo where he obtained a BA in literature. He was born in Okayama, Japan, in 1966.

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