I think I noted that Sankei—alone among the mainstream dailies, or so I believed at the time—had embraced the Internet in its entirety, at least after it replaced Mainichi as MSN’s main squeeze in Japan, and that it was supplementing its online content with its less prestigious sister (mainly) sports & entertainment publication Sankei Supootsu. In recent weeks, I found to my amazement that both Asahi and Mainchi were also been carrying articles from their tabloid siblings, for how long I have no idea. Industry leader and most populist Yomiuri, apparently, has not.
I hope that someone, somewhere, is chronicling these developments. I fear that most of the history of the online media in Japan will be lost forever—like TV programs of the 50s and 60s—literally vanishing into thin air, leaving little but oral testimony to go on. Google can cache only so much.