Our Story

Our roots begin with three Fulbright recipients who conducted research respectively in the U.S. in 2018-19. While what we specialize in are different, we realized that connecting each other and sharing our knowledge would bring more constructive future work.

In the course of our fellowship in the U.S., we also discovered that American journalism excels when it comes to solidarity and collaboration–something that Japanese media fail at.

“Since we are facing common issues, why don’t we combine our knowledge and resources and cooperate as watchdogs as American reporters do?”

This simple question inspired us to form a network of journalists across the country. In May 2022, RBBJ won the grant competition at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and officially launched its projects.


Epo Ishiyama, Founder, CEO

A correspondent based in Bangkok for Mainichi Shimbun

As a Fulbright visiting researcher, she researched migration issues through a scope of domestic workers in the U.S. As a correspondent based in Bangkok, she covers Indo pacific and a wide range of topics but still focuses on migration and human trafficking and the crisis of journalism and democracy in the region.

Yasuyuki Saito, Founder, CFO & CTO

A specialist of public opinion polling at The Opinion Research Center of the Asahi Shimbun

He has been conducted opinion polls for 18 years using various kind of methods such as telephone, mail, and the internet, as well as joint international surveys with the United States, South Korea, and other countries. He has also conducted pre-election polls in national and local elections and statistical estimates of winning candidates. He has presented numerous presentations on survey methodology at American Association for Public Opinion Research annual conferences. In 2019, he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to research at NORC at the University of Chicago as a visiting scholar, where he conducted research on pre-election poll methods in the U.S. He obtained a master's degree in electrical engineering at Chiba University. He is also currently a part-time lecturer on social survey research methodology at Saitama University.

Hanayo Oya, Founder, CMO & COO

A journalist & documentary filmmaker, and an assistant professor at Syracuse University

Oya has dedicated her decade of professional career to journalism and social justice by using the power of reporting to shed light on stories about the most vulnerable members of our society. Her work has won numerous awards and been screened at prominent international documentary festivals, including Busan International Film Festival, the largest film festival in Asia. Oya currently serves as an adjunct researcher at the Institute of the Next Journalism and Media at Waseda University, Japan, where she researches the best journalism practices in the age of digital journalism. As a Fulbright scholar, She has researched at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to producing stories and conducting research, she has dedicated herself to developing aspiring journalists in Japan and around the world. Oya holds a master’s degree in Journalism (Waseda Univ, 2012).

Our Services

Our services
* Providing opportunities for journalists to learn knowledge and skills for future journalism: Holding online seminars and an annual symposium

*Providing Japanese journalists to interview in English: English course for journalists