Michelle Lee


Michelle Ye Hee Lee is The Washington Post’s Tokyo/Seoul bureau chief, covering Japan and the Koreas. She is based in Tokyo. Previously, she covered money and influence in politics and voting access on the national political enterprise and accountability team and was a reporter for The Post’s Fact Checker. Prior to joining The Post in 2014, she was a government accountability reporter at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix. She is serving her second term as the president of the Asian American Journalists Association, a non-profit founded in 1981 with more than 2,000 journalists across the U.S. and in Asia.

Articles, Publications, and Appearances

As Japan’s yakuza mob weakens, former gangsters struggle to find a role outside crime.  (Oct 17, 2021)

What’s happening inside North Korea? Since the pandemic, the window has slammed shut. (Sep 9, 2021)

Long before ‘Squid Game,’ South Korea filmmakers elevated the underdog (Nov 8, 2021)

The Vietnamese workers Japan depends on are falling through the cracks. One Buddhist nun is trying to catch them. (Feb 3, 2022)

‘Hitting mung’: In stressed-out South Korea, people are paying to stare at clouds and trees (Nov 25, 2021)