Contributor Onboarding

Welcome to Tokyo Review! We’re really excited to have you as a contributor, and look forward to working with you on lots of great articles. This page contains some information and background you may find useful as you start writing for us, including details of how our invoicing process works, so you can get paid for your work.

Writing For Us

We are always happy to receive pitches and ideas for any piece that fits our site’s mission – which is a very broad remit! Feel free to pitch anything that focuses on contemporary Japan, from politics and economics pieces to discussions of culture, technology and society.

We’re not a peer-reviewed publication, but we do check every article submitted to ensure that it meets standards of academic rigor. We encourage writers to express their own views and ideas – in essence, everything Tokyo Review publishes is an opinion piece – but we expect those to be backed up with solid research, a keen understanding of the field and a logical, coherent argument.

Our editorial process is open and transparent – we’ll give you as much feedback as possible and while we may make small edits to fix things like spelling or grammar, for any large change we’ll work with you directly. We’re happy to go through a few drafts of your article with you to ensure that everyone is satisfied with the final product. If you’re writing about something none of our editors is expert in, we may ask a professor or other established person in that field to anonymously comment on your article during the editorial process – a little like a “light touch” peer review process.

In general we adhere to the AP Style Guide, but we’ve also produced a gradually evolving list of style considerations specific to Tokyo Review. You don’t need to study this carefully, but it might be useful to glance through it before you start writing


Payments and Invoicing

Tokyo Review is a non-profit organization (registered in Tokyo as a General Incorporated Association, 一般社団法人) which is presently supported by an annual grant from our sponsor, Asia Pacific Initiative. It is our policy to use as much of that grant as possible to pay for contributions from writers. We will always offer compensation for anything you write for us – as long as we have a budget to run the site, we will never ask you to write for free or for “exposure”. (Of course, if you don’t want to be paid, or would prefer us to use the money to support other writers, that’s entirely up to you – just let us know.)

Since most of our contributors are students and academics, our basic payment rates for articles are set according to your level of education. However, in many cases – especially if you’re a professional in another field, or where you’ve written about something which you have a high level of specialist knowledge about – we’ll likely have offered you a higher rate to write the piece. If you’re unsure how much to invoice us for, please ask the editor who commissioned your article directly.

Undergraduate Student¥10,000
Graduate Student (Masters / PhD)¥20,000
PhD Holder (Post-Doc, Professor etc.)¥30,000


Please note that we are required by law to subtract Japanese withholding tax (10.21%) from all payments. This includes payments to overseas contributors as well as those in Japan. We will send you a withholding tax statement at the end of each year so that if you’re eligible, you may be able to reclaim some or all of this tax.

For contributors inside Japan, we can pay by standard bank transfer (furikomi). For those outside Japan, we can make a SWIFT transfer to your account, or pay you using PayPal. Since SWIFT fees can be quite high (and unfortunately we cannot use TransferWise as they won’t open accounts for non-profit organizations in Japan), it might be a good idea to batch together payments for a few articles if you’re being paid through this route. Because of this extra cost and hassle, we strongly recommend PayPal to our overseas writers.

You can find a template invoice here. The invoicing process is simple – make a copy of it and fill out your own details, then export it (a PDF copy would be ideal) and send it to [email protected]. We’ll do our best to process every confirmed invoice within four weeks.


Staying In Touch

The idea of Tokyo Review isn’t just to be a website with articles about Japan – we want to cultivate a community of young scholars and professionals with a keen interest in Japan. We hope that as a writer for Tokyo Review you’ll be able to come across other people working in your field or related fields who could be possible future colleagues or research collaborators.

We maintain a Slack group that’s open to all writers – if you’re interested in joining, contact one of the editors. It isn’t hugely active right now, but we’re hoping it’ll pick up as the site grows.

We also organize very occasional nomikai for contributors in Tokyo, so if you’re in town, keep an eye out for messages about those!

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