You’ll Never Believe Who BuzzFeed Japan Just Hired

Actually, you will. Experienced journalist Daisuke Furuta, who spent more than ten years at one of Japan’s leading daily newspapers, is joining BuzzFeed Japan as its founding editor. In a statement, BuzzFeed said that Furuta will oversee hiring for the Japanese site’s editorial team and plan its content strategy as it prepares to launch this winter.

While at The Asahi Shimbun, which is one of Japan’s oldest daily papers and currently claims a circulation of 7.6 million, Furuta served as a correspondent in Southeast Asia and helmed its Singapore bureau. He returned to Tokyo in 2013 and became an editor at Asahi Shimbun Digital. Furuta not only wrote articles for withnews, an Asahi Shimbun site that serves up content similar to BuzzFeed, but also worked on interactive and visual features.

A BuzzFeed representative says Furuta will first focus building a team for BuzzFeed Japan’s Buzz, Life, and News sections and distributed content, which are the articles produced for BuzzFeed’s social media accounts on Facebook and Snapchat.

BuzzFeed now produces localized news for nine countries, but BuzzFeed Japan marks the first joint venture it has signed with a local company for an international launch. BuzzFeed Japan will be run with Yahoo Japan, which is one of the country’s leading search portals and currently competing with Google for the top spot.

One of the main advantages Yahoo Japan brings to the partnership is its ad network, which is one of the largest in country (its main site alone draws about 60 billion page views each month). According to BuzzFeed Japan, Yahoo Japan has the exclusive right to sell advertising on BuzzFeed Japan.

Yahoo Japan itself is a joint venture between SoftBank and Yahoo, but the latter may be planning to sell its 35.5 percent stake.

Other foreign companies that have tapped Yahoo Japan as an advertising partner include Twitter, Digital Advertising Consortium, and Integral Ad Network.