Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia. Japanese newspapers began in the 17th century as yomiuri. Japanese newspaper readers have a choice of approximately 120 daily newspapers with a total of 50 million copies of 'set papers' with an average subscription rate of 1.13 newspapers per household. The biggest Japanese newspapers are the Yomiuri Shinbun with a daily circulation of over 10 million, the second is Asahi Shinbun with with more than 8 million. The five leading national daily newspapers in Japan are the Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, the Yomiuri Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun, and the Nikkei Shimbun.