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SAO PAULO: The Sao Paulo Shimbun newspaper has printed its final edition, ending a 72-year run as a vital reference point and voice for Brazil’s Japanese community — the largest in the world outside of Japan.

The Japanese-language newspaper, whose final edition rolled off the presses on Jan 1, was a victim of declining sales, an ageing readership and the internet. Its owner, Helena Mizumoto, said an online version may be launched in the future.

Sao Paulo Shimbun was founded in 1946, shortly after the end of World War II. Mizumoto said that before the internet and cable television, immigrants would call the newspaper to find out where they could find Japanese-owned business.

“The Google of the community was here,” Miz­u­­moto said, adding that the newspaper was instrumental in letting expats know that Japan had lost the war.

For decades Sao Paulo Shimbun, from its offices in Sao Paulo’s Asian neighbourhood of Liberdade, served as the main reference point for Japanese living in the South American country. While mainly in Japanese, it printed a few pages in Portuguese as well.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2019