No. 13 — March 10, 1984

Japanese-English translators possess considerable insights into the problems of Japanese technical and scientific information, a field which is attracting increasing attention in the U.S. (see lead article in this issue). I hope that this newsletter will eventually evolve into a trailblazing publication which will shed light on the entire area of Japanese scientific and technical information in general, as well as serving the specialized needs of technical translators.

Currently, I am interested in targeting the following audiences of readers: (1) Japanese technical translators or novice translators; (2) librarians, data base workers and others engaged in gathering, processing and disseminating Japanese technical and scientific information; (3) business people with a professional interest in such information; and (4) persons with a specialized interest in Japan and the Japanese language.

I plan to continue publishing the newsletter regularly as a one-man venture until June, 1984 (one year after the first issue was published), and then to reassess plans and decide whether or not to continue to put it out single-handedly. Readers are asked to send in their comments about whether they wish the newsletter to be continued arid how this should be done, or suggestions about any changes in policy, emphasis, format, etc.

Those who want to volunteer to collaborate in the work of editing and publishing future issues should write me giving details of when they will be available and what they can do to help write articles, distribute the newsletter, etc.

Readers should either write something for publication, or else send in a donation of money to help pay for the expenses, or both. (Suggested minimum amount of donation for a non-contributor is $20 for the year May 1983–May 1984.) Thanks to those who have sent in items for publication and/or money for the expenses, and dire warnings to those who send neither: your names will be removed from the mailing list. If there is an asterisk by your name on the envelope, that means that I am not sure whether you wish to continue to receive the newsletter. You must write to me indicating that you want to receive it, or your name will be dropped from the mailing list. Those who need specific back issues should write me (enclosing a check sufficient to cover the postage) and specify which issues they want. Those who want only the current issues should send in a donation commensurate with the issues they intend to receive. (Please, I'm not going to figure out how much each person owes — readers should figure out for themselves how much they ought to donate.)

The following two readers have kindly volunteered to reproduce the newsletter and distribute it to others in their countries:

Mr. John M. Shields, BEC Service, C.P.O. 42, Nagoya 450, Japan

Mr. F.R.D. Apps, 57 High Street, Ingatestone, Essex CM4 OAT, England

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An article in the February 13, 1984 issue of Business Week is symptomatic of a growing sense of crisis in the U.S. about the possibility that the U.S. may lose its technological supremacy to Japan. According to the article, Americans were amused at first when Japanese businessmen in the 1960's began "showing up en masse at U.S. trade shows and scientific meetings" with their interpreters and cameras. But the amusement changed to alarm when "Japanese products based on the latest U.S. technology started flooding the U.S. market." Now, the article continues, experts are warning increasingly that this process must be reversed if the U.S. wants to remain competitive.

Technological information is seen as playing a crucial role in this process. William F. Finan, special assistant to the Commerce Undersecretary for International Trade, is quoted as saying: "We have not taken advantage of the high-technology information that is available in Japan....If we fail to act, we are condemning ourselves to fall further and further behind the Japanese." Finan says that the Americans suffer from a sort of "intellectual arrogance — the outdated feeling that America is preeminent and need not worry seriously about foreign competition." This is the same complex which was pointed out so eloquently by Edward A. Feigenbaum in his The Fifth Generation.

The Business Week article (pp. 136–140) is entitled "America Starts Looking Over Japan's Shoulder" and will make interesting reading for us Japanese-English technical translators, although some of the information in the article will not be news to us.

The article mentions a study made by the Tokyo office of the American Chamber of Commerce, which concluded that the Japanese are rapidly overtaking the U.S. in twelve important technological areas, including advanced ceramics, optical fibers, and large-scale integrated circuits. The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, evidently alarmed by the study's findings, cabled the State Department to the effect that "the outcome for U.S. industry could prove devastating if the chamber's enumeration of technologies at risk is even half correct."

The Embassy cable evidently had repercussions in the U.S. government, because the House Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology decided to call in industrial, academic and governmental representatives in March to explore ways of improving U.S. "surveillance of Japan's laboratories." The article also points to moves by industrial groups. For example, the American Electronics Association (AEA) plans to set up a "listening post" in Japan. (See also our articles on Materials Research Corporation and Data Quest in no. 6, p. 11–12.)

Business Week says that it will be a "formidable task" to match Japan's own informationgathering network, which includes the use of overseas offices of Japanese trading companies, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and industry associations such as the Electronics Industry Association of Japan. The magazine quotes Warren C. Hegg, a department head at the Tokyo office of SRI-Asia International: "Americans aren't organized to do that kind of information gathering."

Business Week quotes figures about Japan's R&D spending during recent years. In 1981 Japan spent about 6 trillion yen, roughly $26 billion, an amount four times the sum it was spending annually ten years ago. (See the article by Tamiyo S. Togasaki in our issue no. 10, p. 1–4.) On the other hand, civilian R&D in the U.S. in 1981 was about $52 billion. This puts Japan close to a parity with the U.S. on a per capita basis. However, Japan "spends almost nothing on military research and development, while nearly 25% of the U.S. R&D budget is defense-related."

Now the interesting part. Business Week has discovered that it will be no simple task to collect data on Japanese research, partly because "most Japanese researchers are employed by industry, and their work is not released. At the same time, few of the Japanese-language scientific journals are indexed." (Evidently, Business Week has not yet heard about the abstract journals published by the JICST. See our newsletter, no. 6, p. 16–17) The "language barrier" is also mentioned. This is where we come in, and here is how Business Week describes the problem (let me quote the entire statement so we translators can relish every word of it):

Another problem for U.S. scientists is language. While many Japanese scientists can read English, few Americans are able to read or speak Japanese. Although English has become the language of science in Europe, only 25% of the Japanese scientific papers are published in English because their intended audience is other Japanese scientists. "This is the first time we have had to deal with an oriental language — and an extraordinarily difficult one at that," comments Arthur Corte, a technology director at the State Dept.

American efforts at monitoring Japanese technology, however, have thus far been "scattershot at best," reports Business Week The National Science Foundation has only one representative in Tokyo, and the U.S. Embassy there has only one science attache. The U.S. Commerce Department operates the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), which is operating a data base. According to the magazine, NTIS contracted with the Mitsubishi Research Institute to collect scientific documents for entry in its data base, but of the 70,000 titles now listed in that data base only 800 are from Japan, as compared with 16,000 European titles. (More below about the NTIS.)

The most avid collectors of Japanese technical information are the U.S. military and the CIA, but their efforts have been "small" and they do not make their information available to the private sector. "We're not trying to help RCA build better TV sets," comments Kenneth W. Lackie, assistant for international and special programs at the Office of Naval Research. I also understand that the CIA, like its Soviet counterpart the KGB, has its own information-gathering networks in Japan, which are by no means "small," and which involve the use of bribery and other methods of extracting secret technological information. Business Week may be forgiven for omitting mention of these activities, but it is odd that Business Week does not mention the CIA-affiliated organization JPRS, which deals with unclassified material and makes its translations available to the public.

The article does mention that some American companies such as RCA, 3M, Corning Glass, and IBM have already set up their own independent information-gathering operations through their Japanese partners or representatives. In Japan, RCA Corp. maintains a staff of four, which translates scientific papers and reports and answers requests for technical data from company scientists in the U.S. A comparable IBM operation screens technology reported in Japanese periodicals and research papers. However, it adds that these small staffs often are unable to keep up with the demands from their home offices, and there is much duplication of effort, as the same information frequently ends up being translated by different groups and also by federal agencies.

Speaking of duplication of efforts, the article reports that NASA, the Commerce Department, the National Library of Medicine, the Army, the Office of Naval Research, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) last year "were astonished to learn that they were all using a data base managed by the Japan Information Center for Science & Technology — and each was paying separately for much of the same material to be translated into English."

The American Electronics Association (AEA), which plans to set up a Tokyo office to serve as a "listening post" for monitoring Japanese technology, represents some 2,400 U.S. electronics manufacturers. Oddly enough, it hopes to get a grant from the Commerce Department "to help finance the office's first two years of operation." (Evidently the 2,400 members of the AEA are too poor to finance their own Tokyo office.) The AEA is also trying to interest other trade groups, such as the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), in participating in this effort. (See article below about later developments in this story.)

The Commerce Department and the National Science Foundation have decided to provide $500,000 to fund a program to evaluate Japanese technological strengths in such areas as computer design, robotics, biotechnology, and promising new semiconductor materials. The NSF will also send several scientists to Japan annually to prepare reports on research in their fields. The House Subcommittee is looking for ways to coordinate the information-gathering operations in the Federal Government, possibly by recommending that NTIS or the National Bureau of Standards (!) be designated the lead agency, reports Business Week

A few small U.S. companies are already monitoring Japanese technology on their own. Business Week mentions Standard Microsystems Corp, a semiconductor manufacturer in Hauppauge, N.Y. Paul Richards, the chairman and president of the company, spends much of his time in Japan, where he has patent licensing agreements with Japanese competitors such as Toshiba, Hitachi, Fujitsu and NEC. Richards, according to the article, reads every U.S. patent that is issued to a Japanese company in semiconductor technology. (Evidently he does not read the Japanese patents issued to Japanese or American companies in that field.)

The Business Week article mentions that some universities are also beginning to recognize the need for closer ties between U.S. and Japanese researchers. It mentions the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Japan Science & Technology Program (see our newsletter, no. 10, p. 4.) and quotes its director, Richard J. Samuels: "If we are going to compete as equals in science and technology, we have to understand the Japanese as well as they understand us."

The Business Week article concludes with the following statements:

Developing that kind of understanding, however, is likely to take time. Many experts are worried that such a delay could cost the U.S. its lead in critical technologies. They are now calling for funding to set up a coordinated government effort to gather technical data, mainly from Japan but from other countries as well. Says D. Bruce Merrifield, Assistant Commerce Secretary for productivity, technology, and innovation: "We are not doing an adequate job of translating, much less monitoring. There is really a need to do this all over the world now, but the apparatus and the funding aren't there."

What can we conclude from this article? First, we can see that the Americans are, at long last, waking up from their long period of complacency about their own technological supremacy. There is a growing body of literature pointing, sometimes in rather sensational terms, to the growing Japanese threat to America's economic supremacy, such as Edward A. Feigenbaum and Pamela McCorduck's book The Fifth Generation and Marvin J. Wolf's The Japanese Conspiracy. This is all to the good. America has every reason to work harder if it wishes to retain technological leadership, and it is necessary for the Americans to remind themselves constantly of the need to monitor and translate technological information originating in Japan and other competing countries. On the other hand, it would be unfortunate if the nation as a whole were to begin wallowing in some kind of national paranoia, pointing to overseas "conspiracies" as the source of all its ills. It may be true that the Japanese do not always play "by the rules," or rather by the rules as the Americans conceive them, but on the other hand there have been times, I recall, when the Americans also committed certain atrocities which went far beyond any rules of fair play. I think the Japanese, and the Russians as well, can hardly be blamed for doing what is natural for them to do, given their respective geopolitical situations, and the Americans will simply have to redouble their efforts to find innovative and creative ways of competing with their two main adversaries.

Second, the article reflects an incredible naivete about the state of Japanese technological information — a naivete, luckily, not shared by readers of this newsletter. Is Business Week really serious when it says that "most Japanese researchers are employed by industry, and their work is not released"? It is true that 72.9% of research spending in the sciences in Japan in 1981 was funded by the private sector, and some proprietary research may have to be kept secret for competitive reasons (but this is true in any country). However, it is not true that Japanese research results are not published. On the contrary, the Japanese publishing effort is staggering in its vastness. The 1979 edition of the Directory of Japanese Scientific Periodicals published by the National Diet Library contains the names of 8,901 periodicals, and JICST abstracts articles from some 3,750 Japanese periodicals, as well as some 12,500 technical reports and 50,000 patent specifications — preparing a total of about 400,000 abstracts a year. One researcher has reported that only 19% of the Japanese periodicals are available to Western researchers through Western indexing and abstracting services. (Robert W. Gibson, Jr., "Japanese Scientific and Technical Information," in Japanese Scientific and Technical Information in the United States published by National Technical Information Service, p. 15) To say that published research is not available to researchers in the West because it has not been abstracted is one thing, but to state flatly that the "work is not released" is something else.

Third, the article reflects a surprising state of confusion and inefficiency in this country's information gathering efforts. Government agencies collect intelligence information for themselves and refuse to furnish their information to U.S. commercial interests — the very businesses who are threatened with losing their technological lead, "It is not the Navy's responsibility to keep U.S. commercial interests informed," says Kenneth W. Lackie (quoted in the Business Week article on p. 140). How interesting. Evidently the competitive advantage of U.S. technology is a matter of little concern to Mr. Lackie's strategic thinking. I doubt whether the Soviet Navy would react in the same way to the question of national supremacy in strategic technologies.

U.S. government agencies are needlessly and wastefully duplicating their efforts, such as by paying separately to have the same material translated into English by the JICST. American translators will not fail to note indignantly that the Commerce Department, the Army, etc. are paying money for translation to an agency of the Japanese government rather than to American translation agencies. We translators should be asking: if NASA, the Commerce Department, the Army, etc. have enough money to commission JICST to translate database materials for them, why don't they simply obtain print-outs of the Japanese-language materials from the JICST data bases and pay American translators to translate them? It would stand to reason that by encouraging the American translation industry to translate Japanese technical information they would be fostering American expertise in an area in which the U.S. desperately needs to catch up.

Speaking of the Japanese overseas networks engaged in gathering technical information, Mr. Hegg of SRI says that "Americans aren't organized to do that kind of information gathering." It is almost as if he is admitting that the American national character is defective, that the Americans are no good at organized efforts and do not like to be bothered with the nitty-gritty details of information gathering. Evidently they would rather just sit back and muddle along, leaving the difficult tasks to someone else. However, the American authorities should remember that the Japanese are not the only ones engaged in organized information gathering. The Soviet Union has an institute called VINITI (All-Union Institute of Scientific and Technical Information), which gathers, translates and publishes foreign technical information in a wide variety of different fields. It makes special efforts to avoid duplication of translation work and has a special coordination organ for this purpose. Its abstract journals are available in libraries, even libraries in this country. (See our newsletter, no. 8, p. 2–3.) Perhaps American government agencies and companies wishing to find information about Japanese technology could find what they want if they would go to a library and look for it in VINITI's abstracts in Russian.

The Americans also display a rather curious attitude about funding. It is almost as if private companies feel that getting and translating information is too expensive for their meager budgets. They seem to be saying that the U.S. government should coordinate and fund the whole effort for them, perhaps by setting up the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) or the National Bureau of Standards as the "lead agency." Even the ABA, which has 2,400 manufacturing companies as its members, is asking for a government grant in order to establish an office of its own in Tokyo. Evidently the American electronics manufacturers think that the government ought to bankroll their efforts to save themselves from their Japanese competition. Of course, it would be kind of the government to bail them out, I am sure, but why do they feel that the government owes it to them? Why don't they just go ahead and rent the office space themselves?

The National Technical Information Service does already have a Foreign Technology Aquisition (FTA) program. According to David B. Shonyo, Acting Director, NTIS Office of International Affairs, the purpose of FTA is "to support U.S. industry by providing ready access to certain kinds of technical information originating outside the U.S. The principal focus is upon the technical report literature which is generated as a result of R&D work funded by foreign governments and industries." (I quote from a paper by Shonyo entitled "Acquisition and Dissemination of Japanese Technical Information at NTIS," in Japanese Scientific and Technical Information in the United States, the proceedings of the workshop jointly sponsored by the Department of State and the NTIS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in January 1983. See issue no. 10, p. 4.) However, although the purpose of the FTA program is to provide U.S. industry with technical information which is not otherwise available to it, and even though the NTIS has had a local acquisition representative in Japan since March, 1982, only 805 Japanese technical reports were entered into the NTIS data base and made public during 1982. (p. 155) I find this to be incomprehensible in view of the fact that the JICST annually prepares 400,000 abstracts in the Japanese language from 10,560 journals, 40.2% of them from Japanese journals. (See our issue no. 10, p. 2) It is very odd that the NTIS data base as a whole has only 70,000 titles, while the JICST adds 400,000 titles a year to its data base. Incidentally, according to the same paper, the NTIS has signed an agreement with the JICST "by which JICST provides NTIS with English-language abstracts of Japanese-language technical publications in selected areas." (p. 154)

The extreme imbalance in the information flow between Japan and the U.S. has been mentioned frequently in the pages of this newsletter. We know that the Japanese are keenly aware that their country imports far more information than it exports (this is called getting a "free ride" or "freeloading" — what the Japanese call tadanori) The Japanese have been afraid for some time that this imbalance in the information flow may in the future lead to intensified international friction. (For example, see no. 4, pp. 3–6, no. 10, p. 5.) Only now are the Americans beginning to become aware of the dangers of this one-way flow of information (to the Japanese), which inevitably results in a situation where Japanese specialists in various fields are far more aware of worldwide developments outside of Japan than are the Western researchers of corresponding Japanese developments. The situation is quite similar to the Western understanding of Russian scientific literature before the launching of sputnik. (Robert W. Gibson, "Japanese Scientific and Technical Information," op.cit., p. 15)

On the other hand, the situation in which the Americans find themselves is really largely one of their own doing. No nation can blame anyone else for its lack of curiosity. Why aren't the Americans making a more deliberate effort to learn from the Japanese and to modernize their own thinking, particularly in the area of information? Why does the American public remain largely uninformed about the need. for access to Japanese technical information? The Americans seem in many respects to be still in the "horse-and-buggy" era when it comes to what the Japanese like to call the "information society." In my reading of the Japanese daily press I am constantly struck by the way in which Japan is now embarking enthusiastically on a process of revolutionizing its own society, in the firm intention of converting it at all costs into what is known as the "advanced information society." As a nation, Japan has always enthusiastically reached out for information from all over the world and has mounted a vigorous effort to abstract it, translate it, and make it readily available to the Japanese public. The JICST and its data bases, ICOT and its "Fifth Generation" computers, the Japanese manufacturers with their supercomputers, and the NTT with its INS project, are all just the beginnings of a massive nation-wide effort which will last for generations and which is aimed at creating a new, unique type of society of the future. The foundations for this new society are being laid now in a conscious, massive and highly organized manner. I hope that the Americans, who at least are belatedly waking up from their complacent torpor, will take the advice of Edward A. Feigenbaum and others and begin to revitalize their industrial base by the large-scale integration of intelligence and knowledge technology into their industrial processes.

The same situation may be arising in the field of translation. As Rikko Field points out, in the U.S. the translation industry still remains in many respects a "cottage industry," while in Japan being a translator is considered to be far more glamorous, and the industry as a whole is given much more recognition as a crucial, strategic component of the "information society." The translating profession ought to present itself in a new light — not necessarily as a glamor profession, but as the bearer of highly specialized expertise which is essential for national survival. We need to start considering the "politics of translation."

The question of information flow is a problem of vast dimensions which goes far beyond the realm of translation, but I think that we translators have unique insights into the problems of acquisition and processing of Japanese technical information. Since the language barrier is a major cause of the current difficulties, we ought to be allowed to play a more active role in dealing with this problem.

The Workshop on Japanese Scientific and Technical Information held at MIT came to the conclusion that "a major element in any long-term solution to the problems encountered in acquiring and utilizing JSTI is investment in programs to produce technically-trained people with a command of the Japanese language. For the vast majority of Americans — including many of those participating in the workshop — Japan remains a 'black box.' This situation will not improve much until reasonable numbers of scientific and technical personnel are available who can peer into the 'box' and facilitate a more balanced exchange of STI." The Workshop recommended: "Analysis of Japanese technical and scientific translation capabilities, including availability of qualified translators, education of translators, costs of translation, and a forecast of developments in machine-translation. The availability of translated materials from public and private sources should also be assessed." ("Summary and Recommendations," op cit., p. 165)

I hope that these recommendations are carried out and would certainly be interested in seeing the results of such an analysis. For a start, we really need to know the answers to fundamental questions such as: (1) How many Japanese-English technical translators are currently at work in the major countries (Japan, the U.S., the U.K.)? (2) How many others are able to do this work but are engaged in other occupations? (3) How many newcomers to the field are there every year in various countries? Do any readers have any rough estimates of these numbers?

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There have been some articles in the Japanese press reporting that Japanese trading companies specializing in advanced electronic equipment have recently been finding it more and more difficult to import Americanmade high-tech products. (This is reported, for example, by the Nikkei sangyō shimbun of February 22 and by the Japan Economic Journal of February 21, 1984.) The U.S. Commerce Department has been taking two or three months to issue licenses for exports of some such products, and in some cases the process may go on for as long as one year. Some applications have even been turned down, according to the Japan Electronic Products Imports Association.

Almost all of the electronic equipment subject to these restrictions by the U.S. government are for highly specialized uses, such as infrared detectors or enhancing tubes for images with low illumination. The U.S. government is apparently concerned that high-tech products which could be easily applicable to advanced military gear might leak to the Communist bloc via Japan. There are indications that such restrictions are likely to be further strengthened in the future.

One trading company, Evic Shokai, wanted to import an image enhancing tube for lowillumination images which was developed by ITT, and it took more than one month to obtain approval from the Commerce Department and State Department. Toyo Tsusho, another trading company, wanted to import a microprogram development system for high-speed data processing developed by AMC, Inc., but the Commerce Department has taken more than a year to give its approval, and there is no indication when, if ever, approval will be granted. Other applications by Japanese trading companies have been turned down after lengthy deliberations, such as one for a laser gyro type inertia navigating device.

Japanese electronics firms are complaining that these restrictions are having a damaging effect on their business, impairing their relations with their customers. The larger trading companies such as the sōgō shōsha have been little affected by this problem, since such products are troublesome to deal with and, anyway, amount to only a small amount of overall trading volume. However, this may not always continue to be true in the future, since larger traders may also decide to take up high-tech products.

It is possible that the problem will not be confined only to electronic equipment, but may soon extend to all fields of high technology, including new materials and biotechnology.

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Marvin J. Wolf: The Japanese Conspiracy
Publisher: Empire Books, New York

by Dan Kanagy

1983 was a bumper year for new books on the Japanese economic miracle. One of these books is a rather angry book authored by Marvin J. Wolf, a former commissioned officer of the United States Army in Korea and Vietnam, now an author/journalist who has been published by the Japan Times and Asia Magazine, among other places.

His book is titled The Japanese Conspiracy and published by Empire Books of New York. He promises to expose a plot of world economic domination and to offer a method to deal with this menace.

Commenting on the international success of the Japanese, Mr. Wolf says:

Behind their massive penetration of foreign markets is a system of business activity which can best be described as 'economic totalitarianism,' a government-directed enterprise in which all the energies of Japan have been mobilized to overwhelm the world competition.

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The Japanese themselves have termed their centrally run operation the "Bureaucratic-Industrial Complex," one that is becoming as potentially dangerous to world stability as the military-political threat of the Soviet Union. But while Russian dissimulation seems to persuade only the naive, the Japanese have brilliantly disguised their conspiracy in a convincing cloak of free enterprise.

The author claims that the Japanese have arrived at their current level of economic development by flouting the rules of business ethics, by copying foreign technology, and through bribery, industrial espionage, and outright theft. Japan is winning the trade war by refusing to play by the rules.

Strong words, these. Let us see how well these points are argued.

Mr. Wolf starts with his strong suit. He lists several well researched incidents in which all he claims seems to have happened. The first of these is the color television invasion.

Starting in September of 1964, a group of upper level executives from Hitachi, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Sanyo, Sharp, and Toshiba began to meet regularly to fix a bottom price on televisions. This turned out to be quite a complex matter. After the initial meeting, everyone agreed to meet again, and thus started the Tenth Day Group. Their discussions proved to be fruitful, for before long televisions costing $700 in Japan began to appear for less than $400 in the United States market. In effect, the high profit margins in Japan were being used to subsidize the losses in the United States. The rest is history. Unable to develop a similar device to match the Japanese price, U.S. television manufacturers crumbled. Before long the entire color television market in the U.S. was left to the Japanese.

At first, a few U.S. TV manufacturers thought they could cover some of their losses by selling to the Japanese. But in one way or another they were frozen out of the Japanese market. In the case of Zenith, the two Japanese trading companies they enlisted were denied permission to export dollars to buy televisions. In the case of Motorola, Matsushita bought out their manufacturing interests in Japan for $100 million. That was the end of the U.S. invasion of the Japanese TV market.

A second rather outrageous example concerns numerically controlled machine tools. Houdaille Industries, based in Fort Lauderdale, licensed Yamazaki Machine Works to manufacture their machine for the Far Eastern markets. They were rather astonished to find that several years later, an identical machine, including the small design errors that inevitably occur, appeared in the United States, and at a lower price. Yamazaki claimed that it was an improvement, not a copy, and so not a violation of their contract. When an attorney was to travel to Japan to take a legal deposition, he was denied a visa.

This was one small incident in the midst of a much larger problem. Other numerically controlled machine tools were appearing in the United States at prices that U.S. manufacturers found difficult to match. It looked like a repeat of the TV dumping incident all over again. As it was discovered later, this was one of the fields that Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry, or MITI, had targeted for development. To achieve economies of scale and to avoid duplication of research and development, MITI began to encourage mergers between the smaller machine tool companies. Laws were passed exempting merging companies from taxes.

Next MITI needed to raise large sums of money to be able to subsidize these companies while they attempted to corner the world market by undercutting the competition. To go through government or banking channels would have been too obvious. MITI needed a private source of funds. This MITI found in bicycle and motorcycle racing. By taking a 25% cut on the gross, MITI was able to raise the capital it needed to funnel to the machine tool manufacturers. The details of the discovery of this scheme are quite funny, if one disregards the devastating effect it had on U.S. machine tool manufacturers.

A third area that received MITI guidance and direction was in the development of the computer memory chip. This was seen to be important not only because computer memory chips were regarded as the crude oil of the '80's, but also because the skills developed in making one memory chip were stepping stones to the next level of complexity. Whoever controlled the market for one would most likely control what was to follow.

MITI encouragement was needed because none of the major Japanese electronic manufacturers were eager to step into what appeared to be a risky proposition. MITI offered the promise of subsidies, low-cost loans, and preferential tax treatment. Since there was no time or money to waste on a duplication of effort, manufacturers pooled their research efforts, funded with 'hojokin' loans by the Japanese government. These are loans that don't need to be repaid until companies turn a profit on the products developed. As it turns out, none have been repaid to this day.

This concerted effort proved to be successful. The Japanese were able to capture 42% of the 16K memory chip market, and beat the U.S. in shipping the next generation of 64K chips, eventually capturing 70% of the world market. U.S. chip makers found it difficult to compete, for they did not have the flexibility of postponing profitability as did the coordinated Japanese effort.

Mr. Wolf lists many other examples of what he considers to be unfair business practices. I selected the above three because they seemed representative of the Japanese approach to developing new products and capturing market share. Some seem patently unfair, while others may be just a different way of doing business. Our government also subsidizes business through a variety of tax credits, tax reductions and loans. The difference seems to me to be that the Japanese are more selective in their application, by targeting research and product development. Here, it seems, everyone get a break, even if the result is only mergers and paper profits.

Another area in which we are hampered is our anti-trust laws. It is illegal for U.S. companies to pool their research efforts for product development. We see the advantage the Japanese gain by pooling resources and avoiding a duplication of effort. Clearly a revision of the anti-trust laws is in order.

Another advantage the Japanese have is in their attitude towards the world marketplace. We have had the luxury of a large internal market and could largely meet the needs of growth by internal expansion. If anyone else in the world wanted a particular product we were making, we would sell it. But, in general, there was no sense of producing for a world marketplace. How many businesses in the U.S. are making products in metric sizes? The '70's and '80's have seen a closer integration of the world economy. U.S. businesses need to produce with the world in mind. Perhaps we need something like MITI to target and coordinate the development of new products. This will be anathema to the free enterprisers, but free enterprise can be inefficient. A hybrid economy like the Japanese has proved to be more successful.

Mr. Wolf follows with a laundry list of all the things he dislikes about Japan. This includes the exploitation of Japanese workers, discrimination against women and minorities, and the corruption of the Liberal Democratic Party. I have to agree with much of what he says in this section, but what I find missing is an equally critical attitude towards the United States. So women in Japan are paid 53 cents to the dollar a man makes. We are not much better at 57 cents to the dollar. Although much progress has been made in the area of discrimination against minorities in the U.S., we are not home free yet. And I would hate to argue that our political parties are bastions of moral practices.

The final chapter lists Mr. Wolf's solutions to this economic conspiracy. He would like: to make the yen an international currency. End all restrictions on foreign investment in Japan. Remove tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. Require that the Japanese pay substantially more for the protection the U.S. military bases provide them. Break up the zaibatsu's. End all direct and indirect subsidies from the Japanese government to private businesses. Discontinue 'targeting' of sectors of industry. Prosecution by the Japanese government of firms that illegally acquire foreign technology. Stop dumping products in foreign markets. Share proprietary technology with the rest of the world. Disband MITI.

I will let the readers determine how feasible or appropriate these solutions are. Clearly some sort of action would be appropriate. However, we must not overlook areas in which we are hindering ourselves. One can argue that the yen is undervalued. Yet we make the situation worse by record-breaking deficits and historically high interest rates which pull up the value of the dollar. Recent efforts by the current U.S. administration to encourage business investment has resulted in a record number of mergers, and not much investment in the productive plant. We must be smarter in the way we encourage business growth. Rather than asking the Japanese to disband MITI, perhaps we need one of our own.

* * *


In connection with our debate about Miller and Millerism, I would like to bring up another aspect of the question of attitudes towards non-Japanese who are fluent in the Japanese language. In previous issues we have dealt with Miller's contention that the Japanese dislike foreigners who are really fluent in their language, and have mentioned evidence tending to disprove that contention. But there is another aspect to the question which we have missed thus far. That is, do Americans also dislike and distrust Japanese-speaking Americans?

The Japan Times of February 1, 1984 printed a lengthy article entitled "The Confusing World of the JALS" by Jack Seward, a Texas-born author who learned Japanese during World War II and later spent 25 years in Japan. JALS, by the way, stands for "Japan Area and Language Specialists." According to the newspaper, Seward has written 27 books about Japan and now lives in Houston. The article is very far-ranging and entertaining, although far from being very profound, but it has a surprising omission. Seward does not seem to recognize technical translation as a career possibility for persons with specialized knowledge of the Japanese language, although he does mention possible careers in business, government, and missionary work.

Seward argues that knowledge of the Japanese language is essential to an understanding of Japan and points to numerous persons from various generations who have mastered it. He says that JALS as a group tend to isolate themselves and do not make organized efforts to gain recognition for themselves. If that is true, they have only themselves to blame if they are not given widespread recognition. Is this because of some negative self-image they have, or is it because they encounter dislike and prejudice among the Japanese or among their fellowcountrymen? Seward writes that he has found that foreigners who are fluent in Japanese are seldom utilized by either Japanese or American companies. He quotes Prof. Sumiko Iwao, a social psychologist at Keio University, who said: "Japanese...feel threatened by foreigners who can speak Japanese, and tend to keep them at a distance." (That should sound familiar to those who have read Miller!)

In interviewing American businessmen in Japan, Seward found a similar attitude among them, a sort of Millerism in reverse. He says that "the upper echelons of American businessmen in Japan are actually afraid and suspicious of the JALS." He goes on: "And there we have the cruel, cold heart of the matter: You can know just so much about a foreign culture and be admired for your knowledge, but if you know more than that, you become suspect. What they are saying is simply this, 'If you really love your own country, why should you learn so much about another country?'" (Why indeed, when the other country threatens one's own country's technological supremacy?)

I would like to hear from other readers about whether this attitude towards Japanese-speaking Americans is prevalent among the American population. It is difficult to believe seriously that, in this day and age of increasing internationalization, any intelligent businessmen would adopt such a xenophobic attitude. But if it is marks out yet another area where Americans need to revolutionize their consciousness.

* * *


We mentioned above that the American Electronics Association (AEA) has been planning to set up a Tokyo office to serve as a "listening post" for monitoring Japanese technology and has also trying to interest other trade groups, such as the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

The February 18, 1984 issue of the Nikkei sangyō shimbun reports that the AEA and SIA had been preparing to open a joint office in Japan, but that the SIA has abandoned its plans to do so. The AEA will open up its own office independently in Tokyo in April.

SIA was founded in 1977 by the larger American semiconductor manufacturers such as Motorola, Intel, and Fairchild and has played an active role in criticizing the Japanese semiconductor industry in connection with U.S.J-apanese trade friction.

Staff of the Electronic Industries Association of Japan spoke with AEA representatives who recently came to Japan and found that the AEA plans to open an office as oi April 1. The office will be located in the Akasaka or Toranomon sections of Tokyo and will have floor space of about 75 m2. The AEA is currently looking for such an office space. The office will be the office of AEA alone, since the SIA has withdrawn from plans to open a joint office in Tokyo.

The Japanese semiconductor industry had been watching with great interest SIA's plans to open an independent office in Japan, under the impression that it signified SIA's intention to make new moves towards Japan. However, in autumn of 1983 SIA scaled down its plans and began preparing to open an office jointly with the AEA. Now SIA's plan to establish a Japanese "listening post" has been abandoned completely. The Nikkei sangyō shimbun says that the reason why the plan was abandoned is unclear, although financial considerations have been suggested.

* * *


According to an article in the February 8, 1984 issue of the Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, Fujitsu America, Inc. of San Jose, California announced in California on February 6 that it will begin to sell the Fujitsu "My OASYS," Fujitsu's Japanese-language word processor, in the United States. First deliveries will be early in April.

The Fujitsu My OASYS has 24x24 dot display and printing and also has a variety of novel functions such as tables, calculation, graph compilation and Romaji input. It will be sold in three areas of North America: New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The price will be $3,999, including the main unit, printer and basic system software.

The address of Fujitsu America, Inc. is:

Fujitsu America, Inc.
2945 Oakmead Village Court
Santa Clara, CA 95051
Tel. (408)7274300

* * *


The Japan Information Center of Science and Technology (JICST) on February 7 signed a memorandum of co-operation with the CDST, a French scientific and technical documentation center belonging to the CNRS, the French national center for scientific research. The agreement provides that both centers will work together, with the CDST assisting the JICST in collecting European information and the JICST assisting the CDST in collecting Japanese information. Each center will station its representatives at the other, using office space of the opposite center. Plans will be made for joint activities in collecting, storing and processing scientific and technical information. Both centers will provide each other with indices, comprehensive catalogs and linguistic tools for automated translation and will provide each other access to their on-line information-retrieval systems. A council for implementing the co-operation plan will be established. It will meet once every two years, alternately in France and Japan. (Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, February 8, 1984)

* * *


In addition to the Newton book (Waado purosessa no subete), Don Cyril Gorham, Silver Spring, MD, mentions the following two publications on Japanese word processors:

Waa-puro Nenkan 84 Nen-ban: published September 1st, 1983 by the Shin Kigen Sha, Tokyo. 287 pages plus two foldout charts. Some 72 different word processing software packages for 17 personal computters are introduced in detail. Information is primarily dated round a survey conducted in March-May 1983 and includes new products as of May. The two foldout charts (quite detailed) are: Table of Functions of Dedicated WPs and Table of Functions of WP Software.

Nihongo Shori published by Nikkei Electronics Books Dec. 12, 1983, 274 pages. The book is, in large part, an updated consolidation of articles published in the 1977 through 1983 editions of the magazine Nikkei Electronics also a large amount of information from the Aug. 29, 1983 special issue of the magazine devoted to the subject of Japanese-language word processing. Looks fascinating if you are interested in the state of the art as far as items commercially available are concerned.

* * *


Wang Laboratories plays a prominent role in the OA market in the U.S. and also has a presence in Taiwan, where it sells Chinese-language word processors and also operates a research and development center. However, Wang has practically no market share in Japan. In a previous issue (no. 6, p. 7–9) we discussed the Wang Ideographic Word Processor and concluded that, because of its rather expensive price and the clumsiness of its six-keystroke inputting system for kanji, it would win over few users desirous of using it for Japanese.

Now Wang is planning to make inroads into the Japanese market, chiefly through its tie-up with C.Itoh Data Systems. J. Carl Massey, Vice President for Overseas Business, announced in an interview with the Nihon keizai shimbun that the R&D center in Taiwan is currently engaged in research and development for word processing in Chinese, Thai and Japanese and will develop Japanese word-processing capacities within nine months. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, February 8, 1984)

In a similar development, the Minneapolis-based word-processor manufacturer CPT is also planning to develop kanji word-processing capabilities in order to make inroads on the Japanese market. CPT is collaborating with a Japanese trading company called Kyōwa Shōkai in developing kanji-capable word processors, which it hopes to sell beginning this spring to Japanese companies located in the U.S. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, February 18, 1984)

* * *


A system house called Ryōmō Systems, located in Kiryū city, Gumma prefecture, will develop Chinese and Korean-language word processors and will begin to export them this spring, according to the Nikkei sangyō shimbun of February 13, 1984.

The Chinese word processor will have 6,763 kanji used in China as well as 682 "other characters." The Korean word processor will have a total of 3,455 characters, including 1,692 kanji and 1,316 hangul characters.

Sample products have already been exported on a trial basis to China, Taiwan and South Korea. The company will in the future attempt to develop word processors for other languages.

* * *


The Ministry of International Trade and Industry announced that it is planning to hold an international conference on the "Fifth Generation" computer early in November in Tokyo. The project was begun by MITI from fiscal year 1982 as a joint research project in which both government and private industry participate. The conference will be attended by the main participants in the Institute for New Generation Computer Technology (ICOT) who will introduce the architecture of their Fifth-Generation hardware and software. They will also demonstrate a consecutive reasoning machine, a relational database machine, an experimental system for understanding natural language, and an intelligent expression system developed during the first period of their project. 1984 is the final fiscal year of the first three-year period of the Fifth Generation Project, and the government increased its budget for fiscal 1984 to ¥5,120,000,000 (about $21,974,000 at a recent exchange rate), nearly double the budget for fiscal year 1983, in order to accelerate the work.

The Fifth Generation project was started in fiscal year 1982 as a 10-year project for the purpose of establishing independent technology and breaking away from dependence on IBMtype computer technology. The first three-year period of the project was to be devoted to fundamental technologies, the middle four-year period to subsystems, and the final threeyear period to total systems. The machine is to be a non-von Neumann type computer with artificial intelligence-type processing capabilities, which is expected to be the typical computer of the 1990's, aimed at the advanced information society. (See issue no. 11, p. 1416.)

MITI is expecting to invite representatives of IBM, Univac, Honeywell, ICL, Siemens and other overseas computer manufacturers to this conference, which will be held for four days beginning on November 6 at a hotel in Shinjuku, Tokyo. (Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, February 9, 1984)

* * *


The Science and Technology Agency has decided to begin developing an intelligent computer more advanced than the Fifth-Generation Computer. The Sixth-Generation computer will be close to the human brain and will be able to learn, think and judge for itself, and communicate with human beings in natural language. Because of its human-like qualities, the Agency will involve first-rank researchers in psychology, physiology and linguistics from the stage of fundamental system designing.

The Intelligence Sciences Research Survey Committee (chaired by Professor Eiichi Gotō of Tokyo University) of the Watanabe Kinen Zaidan, an agency under the jurisdiction of the Science and Technology Agency, has been studying concrete research topics concerning the Sixth-Generation computer. (Nihon keizai shimbun, January 6, 1984, evening ed.)

* * *


The Prime Mover Business Department (Gendōki Jigyō Honbu) of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. is reported to be moving in the direction of introducing machine translation systems. The Department must prepare large numbers of documents in English and Arabic in connection with its plant exports to the Middle Eastern oil-producing countries. There has been an increasing need for translating documents into Arabic.

The company is now considering introducing an English-Arabic and Arabic-English machine translation system of the Weidner Communications Corporation of Chicago (mentioned in our issue no. 12, p. 18). This system uses a VAX-11 minicomputer made by DEC.

Mitsubishi is also considering the introduction of a Japanese-English translation system developed by Bravice International in connection with Weidner. This system can be used with the IBM Multistation 5550 personal computer (see our issue no. 9, p. 2–3). Mitsubishi already has numerous 5550 work stations.

Mitsubishi is planning to wait and see whether the systems are successful in its Prime Mover department. If they appear to be highly effective there, the company may introduce them throughout the entire organization. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, February 18, 1984)

* * *


The January 1984 issue of the SWET newsletter announces publication of SWET's Japan Style Sheet, a 54-page book aimed at style and language problems faced by writers, editors and translators working with the Japanese language and on Japan-related subjects. The book explains the several systems used for transliterating Japanese in the Latin alphabet and deals with problems of word division, capitalization and punctuation of romanized Japanese. There are also sections on the handling of Japanese names, dates and other terms in English. Copies are available for ¥1,000 plus ¥500 for postage from SWET, P.O. Box 8, Komae Post Office, Komae, Tokyo 201. Copies of the Style Sheet are available in the U.S. from The Bookery, 2916 North Beitline Road, Irving., Texas 75062.

The January issue of the SWET newsletter contains nothing in particular about translating but there is an article about using a personal computer for word processing and an article evaluating various English-language dictionaries.

* * *


According to an article in the Japan Times of January 14, 1984, Survey Japan, an industrial research and publishing organ in Tokyo, has just published a 270-page research paper on the defense and arms industry of Japan, featuring its high-technology aspects, defense policy, decision-making, Japan-U.S. technological cooperation, the procurement policy of the Defense Agency, the arms market situation, etc.

The paper was authored by scholars, critics, retired and incumbent Defense Agency Officials, as well as the Survey Japan staff. Survey Japan's address is:

Survey Japan
61 No. 6 Kojimachi Bldg.
4-5 Kojimachi,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102
Tel.: (03) 262-7476

* * *


The powerful Nihon keizai shimbun is establishing a research institute which will be devoted to studying and predicting trends in high technology. The institute, called Nikkei Sangyo Kenkyusho (Nikkei Industry Research Institute), will be initiated as of March 1, 1984. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, February 27, 1984)

The chief research topics will be: (1) Prediction of research and development trends; (2) Analysis and prediction of major markets; (3) Analysis of impacts of major technologies on society and industry; and (4) Fundamental research in database construction, development of methods for evaluating venture businesses, etc.

The research results will be published in the newspapers (Nihon keizai shimbun and Nikkei sangyō shimbun) and also in the form of newsletters and monographs. It is also planned to accept research commissions from government and industry. A 14-member advisory committee will provide guidance to the Institute.

Inquiries should be addressed to the following telephone number in Tokyo: (03) 270-0251, extension 5130.

* * *


Twenty-five Japanese publishers will establish as of March 1 a jointly financed company which will engage exclusively in translating Japanese publications into foreign languages, publishing them and exporting them overseas. (Nihon keizai shimbun, February 18, 1984; The Japan Economic Journal, February 28, 1984)

The publishers include large companies such as Kodansha Ltd., Shogakukan Publishing Co., Shinchosha, Heibonsha Ltd., Gakushu Kenkyusha (Gakken Co.), and the Seibu Group of Retail Enterprises.

The new company, to be called Japan Foreign-Rights Centre (Nihon Chosakken Yushutsu Sentaa), will establish an office in London and will begin to publish by November an Englishlanguage informational periodical for introducing Japanese publications, publishers and writers. The publication will be called "Japan Book News" and will be edited and published in England. By 1985 it will be changed into a monthly and will come out in about 3,000 copies aimed at overseas publishers, libraries, and researchers interested in Japan. The company will also participate in international book fairs such as the Frankfurt Book Fair and will organize its own exhibitions of Japanese books in Europe.

The company to be launched on March 1 will be headed by Akiko Kurita. It will carry on the work of a Japanese literary agency, the Kurita-Bando Literary Agency, which had specialized in selling copyrights to Japanese publications overseas.

According to UNESCO, the number of overseas publications translated into Japanese in 1982 totaled 2,307, while only 308 Japanese publications were translated into foreign languages. Increasing the number of Japanese books translated into foreign languages is believed to be a necessary step in order to alleviate international friction.

* * *


Inter Press (81 Yamabuki-cho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 162), which in April, 1983 published its two-volume "Inter Press Dictionary of Science and Engi-neering" (88,000, reviewed in No. 3, pp. 3–5), then came out in November with another large two-volume dictionary, entitled Kagaku gijutsu katsuyō daijiten (A Concordance to Technical Manuals, 50,000). It is now preparing still another two-volume dictionary aimed at J-E and E-J translators. This third dictionary is called Kagaku gijutsu jukugo hyōgen daijiten (English title: Dictionary Based on Idiomatic Expressions) and will be published in April. It will have 3,200 pages and will cost 70,000 until August. Like the first two dictionaries, it will have two volumes, an E-J volume and a JE volume. Advertisements for the dictionary indicate that it is drawn from articles which appeared in an American magazine called Machine design. Evidently the "dictionary based on idiomatic expressions" is an attempt to analyze compound words and expressions, approaching the details of technical writing from both languages. To help you get a clear picture of these three Inter Press publications (remember, altogether there are six volumes of them), here is a list of them with their Japanese and English titles:

Kagaku gijutsu 25-mango daijiten [Dictionary of Science and Engineering]. 2 vols, 3,800 pages. ¥88,000. Published April, 1983.

Kagaku gijutsu katsuyō daijiten [A Concordance to Technical Manuals] 2 vols, 2,400 pages. ¥55,000 (specially priced ¥50,000 until end of March, 1984). Published November, 1983.

Kagaku gijutsu jukugo hyōgen daijiten [Dictionary Based on Idiomatic Expressions] 2 vols, 3,200 pages. ¥78,000 (specially priced ¥70,000 until end of August, 1984). To be published April, 1984.

* * *


Ted Ohtani, AT&T Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ, recommends a dictionary of current terms called Janru-betsu Saishin Nichibei hyoogen jiten, written by Keisuke Iwatsu, published by Shoogakukan (¥2,000). The English title is "The Shogakukan Japanese-English dictionary of current terms." Mr. Ohtani writes: "It has many useful tables listing company names, governmental organizations, and other subjects covering many fields. I had had a hard time until I bought this book to find 'established' English names of universities, institutions, occupational titles, and proper descriptions of various kinds of SUSHI. By the way, its sister book, "Saishin Eigo Joho Jiten" is not so useful."

Mr. Ohtani also recommends a monthly periodical called The East (The East Publications Inc., 19-7-101, Minami-Azabu 3, Minato-ku, Tokyo). Each issue, he says, has an average of about 70 pages. "It comes with very interesting articles on Japanese customs and manners, current events, managerial matters, the language, etc. This publication is particularly good for American translators for the Japanese language." A list of principal articles that have appeared in The East from 1974 to 1983 includes, surprisingly, a large number of articles on Japanese grammar ("Keiyo-shi," "Modifications of Keiyo-shi," "Keiyo-shi Compounds," "Secondary Keiyo-shi," "Secondary Keiyo-shi Expressions," "Onomatopoeic and Mimetic Words as Adverbs," "The Use of Adverbs," "Rentai-shi," etc.) Mr. Ohtani notes that these grammatical articles are useful even for those at an advanced level.

* * *


A company called Medical Friend Sha has announced publication of a 6-volume medical dictionary called Igaku seibutsugaku daijiten. The total number of pages is 4,950, and the dictionary includes 240,000 words covering basic, clinical and adjacent fields. The first four volumes are in Japanese, and the two last volumes are "French-Japanese" (evidently an index from French to English). The cost is ¥240,000 (around $1,030 at a recent rate of exchange). Here is an advertisement from the Nihon keizai shimbun of February 17, 1984:

[Scanned Image No. 1]

* * *


by Mary M. Gillender
Sheffield University, England

*For a full account of this method, see The I.D.S Method of Foreign Language Teaching by P.A. Heron in The Proceedings of the 1975 AILA Conference, Julius Groos, Stuttgart 1976.

Every summer since 1970, the Centre for Japanese Studies at Sheffield University has held a short intensive course in which people with no previous knowledge of Japanese are taught to translate Japanese scientific and technical written material into English. The Course was devised and is taught by Dr. Jiri Jelinek of the CJS, and the method used is the Integrated Dictionary System (I.D.S.)*, which was formulated by Dr. Jelinek.

The Course uses the following teaching materials, the first four of which belong to the Scientific and Technical Japanese Series published by the CJS (details from the Secretary):

001: Japanese-English Grammar Dictionary. J. Jelinek 1974

002: Reading Japanese. J. Jelinek and P.A. Heron 1975

004: Integrated Japanese-English Grammar Dictionary Part I Kana. J. Jelinek 1976

011: Reader in Scientific and Technical Japanese. J. Jelinek 1978

The Modern Reader's Japanese-English Character Dictionary. A.N. Nelson, Rutland & Tokyo, 1970

Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary. Ed. Koh Masuda, Tokyo 1974

The Course lasts seven weeks if taken on a full-time residential basis, although it can also be taken part-time or as a correspondence course. The timescale outlined below applies to the full-time residential Course.

In the first week, the student learns to transcribe katakana into Roman script, then hiragana, and works through the first graded exercises in Oil, which at this stage consist of transcribing single words and translating them into English.

In the second week the student learns how to count the strokes of kanji and how to look them up in Nelson's character dictionary. He now works through drills containing kana and kanji, but does not yet encounter any grammar. Towards the end of this week he is introduced to the Grammar Dictionary (GD), and for the five remaining weeks he works through tranlation drills consisting of complete sentences of increasing complexity, and eventually handles undoctored passages of Japanese taken from books, newspapers, journals, manuals and so on.

*A full description of the way a GD works can be found in the Introduction to 001 and the Introduction to 004.

** From Japanese The Integrated Dictionary Search Method by J. Jelinek from Teaching Languages to Adults for Special Purposes — CILT Reports and Papers II, CILT 1974.

The CD is the basis on which the I.D.S. method is built. A full description* of what the GD is and how it works would take up so much space and entail so many precise definitions of technical terms that it is really beyond the scope of this article. The GD can most usefully be described here in Dr. Jelinek's own words** as "a sort of machine in the shape of a book which the student can use after he has mastered the techniques of manipulating it to arrive at an English rendering of Japanese sentences."

The student combines the use of the GD with the Nelson and Kenkyusha dictionaries. The question of when to use which dictionary is solved by the existence of a set of Search Rules which cover every eventuality and to which the student must adhere closely. What happens during a search is that the GD processes the grammar "automatically" for the student, who then only has to fill in the lexical gaps and polish up the rough translation which results at the end of the sentence.

Using this method, a student who is more or less completely ignorant of the Japanese language can correctly translate written Japanese, providing only that he can understand English, transliterate kana, look up kanji in Nelson, and follow the Search Rules. These last three skills can be taught in seven weeks, as past students (approximately 400) have proved. At the end of the Course the student has acquired the ability to "decipher" written Japanese. Ideally, after completing the Course the student goes on reading Japanese material and eventually memorises the Search Rules so completely that he becomes independent of the GD, and can be truly said to have a reading knowledge of Japanese. The Course is, of course, not designed to teach the student to speak or write Japanese, or to understand spoken Japanese.

For students who have completed the Course and need extra practice in a specialist area, eight panels of graded translation drills are available. These are: I. General; 2. Chemistry; 3. Food Industry; 4. Economics; 5. Shipbuilding; 6. Electronics; 7. Geography; 8. Metallurgy. A specialist panel for Computer Technology is in preparation.

The feedback from "graduates" has been very encouraging: a small number now earn their living by Japanese-to-English translation, while many more are able to do occasional translating work for their employers, pursue research, and so on, using their ability to read Japanese.

Research is now in progress which will result in a computerised version of the Course, whereby all the teaching materials will be replaced by one interactive software package. The student will be able to key-in source text and use information displayed on a VDU screen to arrive at a rough English translation. This will cut down the time needed to learn Search Rules and generally speed up the learning process; it will also open up new possibilities for improving the data base and teaching techniques used.

For further information on the Reading Course contact:

Dr. J. Jelinek or Mary Gillender
Centre of Japanese Studies,
Sheffield University,
Western Bank,
Tel. (0742)24484

The course is permanently available between October and June on a roll-on roll-off basis.

* * *


The Seminar für Orientalische Sprachen der Universität Bonn has started a completely new program for "Diplom-Ūbersetzer" in Oriental languages (Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean and Turkish). This is the first institute in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland to offer such academic courses for translators in the Japanese language. For information contact:

Dr. R. Mathias-Pauer
Seminar für Orientalische Sprachen
der Universität Bonn
5300 Bonn,
Adenauerallee 102

* * *


According to the AAS Newsletter of Nov-Dec 1983, Anthony Meadow is attempting to organize people who are using or planning to use computers in Asian studies. A newsletter is planned. Those interested are invited to write Anthony Meadow, Computers and Asian Studies Group, P0 Box 1021, Berkeley CA 94701.

* * *


Don Cyril Gorhaxn writes that he is using the following hardware and software in translating as of February 1984:

Hardware Used:

IBM/PC, MS DOS Version 2.0.
RAM on mother board extended to 256KB; two floppy disk drives, 320/360 KB.
Three expansion slots left after Printer/Monitor and disk drive boards installed.
Looking forward to getting a clock/calendar for automatic dating purposes, with next expansion board purchased.

NEC Spinwriter, model 2050.
Fully formed character printer, thimble type; up to 200 words per minute. Accommodates proportional spacing. Controls for feed (single or form feed), pause/continue, and set TOP.

Software Used:

WORDVISION Writing Tool word processor. Almost everything you can think about desirable, except for footnotes (as opposed to footers) and proportional spacing. Very user friendly, uses all function keys; full menu and prompts. Document handling capacity limited by RAM size available in the operating system. The machine prints what you see on the screen, period. Can be customized. I like it; am looking forward to add-on software which will be available in a few months, have been told. Teika nanajyukyu doru kyujyugo sento.

* * *


Carl Kay, 607 Franklin Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, is organizing a network of Japanese translators who are ATA members. All Japanese translators who are ATA members are urged to write to him to join the network. "We hope to exchange information, etc. among ourselves and collectively influence ATA policy to give Japanese more weight there," he says. Kay plans to contact Eva Berry, President of ATA, and propose formation of a Japanese translators "Specialized Interest Group" within ATA. He will serve as the ad hoc contact person until the ATA convention, at which time someone should be elected.

* * *


A number of readers have written in with offers to help and suggestions. I am quoting here from some of their letters. David C. Jones of Austin, Texas writes:

I look forward to [the newsletter] eagerly each month and thought that the Feb. 10 issue was the best so far. The sort of information I am most interested in is as follows: the names of new dictionaries that other translators recommend, solutions to translation problems, translation theory, information about training programs to help me improve my skills, and news about what other translators are doing. The last issue contained material relating to all these. I am very hopeful that you will continue to provide this service in the future. I am willing to help in any way I can, although at the moment I don't know what that would be.

Donald E. Oeschger, Chief, U.S. Joint Publications Research Service, Arlington, VA, writes:

Though not a translator myself, I manage a rather sizable translation service for the U.S. Government and find the Newsletter both of interest and of value to our work and would hope that it will be continued.

John Shields of Nagoya writes:

I think you have hold of something. You've struck a nerve and have begun to fulfill a need. The Newsletter may well take a direction you never dreamed. In any case, we are beholden. For my part, I would like to see some of the following features evolve with time.

  1. Identification of aims (your reading publics)
  2. Membership or subscription basis to cover expenses
  3. Sharing of editorial burdens
  4. A more themed approach to each issue: less scatter and comments; more homing in on specific translation- or occupation-related; my neurotic desire to file things for ready access (still no computer here) causes a knot in my navel when each issue arrives. I like to control my information. (The format is unmanageable.)
  5. A separate (not disparate and continuously published) directory (a great need: Who wouldn't like to have a network of reliable friends to share work with or obtain it from?)
  6. Creation of some sort of work relay system, possibly through facsimile networking (my baby) or computer relay (internationally, between Japan, where most of the work originates, or will originate, and elsewhere)
  7. Fewer issues; more focus; bylines; forum; want ads; single translator profiles (as distinct from Directory); trouble-shooting sample translations, blah, blah, blah.

Ted Ohtani of the AT&T Bell Labs, Murray Hill, N.J., writes:

Thank you for sending me the latest issue of your newsletter. I have never seen such an interesting and useful newsletter before. Despite the increased demand for Japanese translations in the U.S., the ATA Chronicle has very few articles related to Japanese translation. Probably translators for the Japanese language are too busy to bother the ATA Chronicle. I have decided not to send money to them this year. I would rather send that fee to your newsletter. I definitely hope that you or someone else will continue the newsletter after June and I believe all the present subscribers would agree with me.

I am looking forward to more interview articles in the future issues.

Rob Takagi of Santa Monica, California writes:

Concerning your questions about changing the direction and/or format of the newsletter, I am in favor of moves toward expanding its readership. I think the information contained in it should be disseminated to a larger number of people. With the dearth of good, hard information available on Japan in English, I would think that it would find a ready audience in the technical/scientific/business community. In addition, the news media (tv, radio, print) continue to cover Japan, but with rare exceptions using uniformly poor sources. The newsletter could be a good primary source of information for them as well.

A newsletter which focuses on technical translation must by virtue of its subject matter, wash into broader areas of concern; ie. information processing, scientific research, computers, etc. The trend of the newsletter would seem to be in this direction, and as Fred Schodt has pointed out it is a quite natural and logical evolution.

My only caution in broadening the scope of the newsletter would be that the contents not be diluted to fit the needs of a more "lay" audience. One of the things which most appeals to me about it is that the articles presented in the monthly offerings are directly tied into or derive from Japan's technological/scientific/information science superstructure. This lends a vitality and rigour to the articles which is not available in other literature on Japan in this country. It is certainly something which is missing from more scholarly offerings.

It is really good to know that the newsletter is able to arouse, and hold, the interest of so many readers. I am taking the comments into serious consideration, although obviously it would be impossible to satisfy all of the suggestions simultaneously. I know that each issue of the newsletter contains an immense amount of information which is difficult to digest and classify. (There is such a thing as overkill; one reader in San Francisco has already canceled his subscription because he said the newsletter contained "much more than I can digest.") The format is unmanageable. An index to all the information in the previous issues would be useful but is quite beyond my powers. I promise that I will try to clarify my editorial policies and, if possible, clear up some of the clutter in the future issues. Further comments and ideas from other readers are invited. DLP

* * *


Keith S. Wilkinson, CPO Box 1748, Tokyo, Japan 100-91, writes (February 24, 1984) to describe his interests in amateur radio operation, which he feels might be useful to translators. Here is what he says in his letter:

I passed the Novice-grade Japanese Radio Amateur examination in 1980 — now maybe ten or twenty gaijin and more than one million Japanese, the youngest a seven year old girl, have passed this exam. Translators in the electronics field would probably find it a useful exercise (and a challenge) to sit this exam. (I passed the grade 2 exam, in '82, and am the first and only gaijin to have done so, it seems.) There's a government-administered multi-choice novice exam, held weekly in Tokyo, and the JARL (Japanese Amateur Radio League) runs courses in the evenings or Sundays with a simple exam that gets you the same qualifications. The JARL course is good if you have the time and either want to improve your knowledge of electronic fundamentals or the Japanese vocabulary.

Four years ago a Japanese-language (unofficial) "question and answer" book for the exam was published (it is widely available in bookshops here), and I translated it — other gaijin were interested in sitting the exam. The Q&A book has been rearranged and expanded, and I will be updating my translation and printing a study guide containing it — anyone interested should contact me at the above address.

Passing the exam at present permits one to operate a portable "club station" — sponsored by three Japanese amateurs — and you can contact other "hams" in your home country. There is also the prospect of reciprocal licensing and "a station of your own" in the near future. Apart from voice communication on the high-frequency bands, digital and voice communication by satellite is also possible — within a couple of years, new satellites will make it even easier. Digital data (like documents from word processors, or computer programs) can be sent around the world — the data is received and stored, and retransmitted on the other side of the world. Amateur radio is a non-commercial service, and "third-party traffic" is prohibited in most countries, but it seems that amateur satellites could be used by radio amateurs to distribute non-profit magazines like yours.

* * *


 国外に住んでいる中国人のことを「華僑」というのはよく知られていることですが、国外に住むイン ド人は日本語で何というのか知っていますか。やはり「印僑」という言葉があるようです。2月17日 付の日経産業新聞に披らに関する記事がのって、「印僑の資金力活用」という見出しで、「インド政府 は経済地盤強化の”切り札”として、一千万人以上といわれる海外在住インド人(印僑)の経済、技術 力の活用を進める方針だ」と述べています。

独身者を最近は、アンマリ族ということをすでに紹介しました。これはアンマリッド・ピープルを略 した表現だそうですが、こうした独身貴族は、収入の自由裁量分に限りがある既婚組と違って生活もリ ッチだから、アンマリ族とリッチライフの合成語、アンマリッチ・ライフという言責がはやり始めたよ うです。これは、アンマリ族の中でも特にリッチな二十代後半から三十代前半の独身女性を、中年の妻 帯社員がやっかみ半分で皮肉る言葉だそうです。(日本経済新聞2月13日夕刊こよる)

 それから、三無主義、五無主義、アイウエオ夫人、サシスセソ亭主とは何か、日本経済新聞の2月1 4日号は次のように説明しています:

[Scanned Image No. 2]

* * *


This time I went through my files, picked out words from a number of different fields (excluding medicine), and made up a glossary of them. As in the glossary of medical terms in the last issue, I tried to pick words which are not often found in dictionaries, which illustrated some principle or other, and/or which had some feature which might be considered to be striking, unusual or difficult.

防曇性組成物 antimisting composition
防曇紙布 demisting paper cloth
膨剤 raising agents
分子立体配座転移 molecular conformational transition
物流 commodity flow
濁度滴定 turbidimetric titration
脱共役 uncoupled
脱共役作用 uncoupling
脱共役剤 Uncouplers
脱リグニン delignification
電気浸透透過性 electroosmotic permeability
土捨場(どすてば) spoil bank
演色性 color rendering properties
城容する to compact, to reduce in volume
へたり settling, permanent set in fatigue
非水伝導度滴定 nonaqueous conductimetric titration
保水度 water retention value (WRV)
界面張力滴定 stalagmoinetric titration
解繊 de fibration
解繊処理 defibration (of cooked wood) (to defiberize)
解糖 glycolysis
解尽 extinction of phosphorescence
較正 calibration
較正曲線 calibration curve
かねあい(兼ね合い) trade-off
関連度関数 coherence
加リン酸開裂酵素反応 phosphoroclastic reaction
火砕岩 pyroclastic rock
経時的変化 time history, time history plots
気差 refraction
輝尽 accelerated phosphorescence
高電子移動度トラーンジネタ high electron mobility transistor (HEMT)
向流分野法 countercurrent distribution method
光周性光感受性 photoperiodic photosensitivity
固体高分子電解質 solid polymer electrolyte (SPE)
局在 localization
共役機構 coupling mechanism
模樹石 dendrite
無撚紡績糸 zero twist spinning
熱画像〔サーモグラム) thermogram
熱蛍光線量計 LIP-thermoluminescence dosimeter (TLD)
熱重量分析 thermogravimetric analysis
熱重量測定 thermogravimetry (TG)
プルラン pullulan
リモコン remote control
新エネルギー給金開発機構 New Energy Development Organization (NEDO)
シラス・パルーン glass beads, glass spheres
スワールベーン swirl vane
斜角法 ultrasonic angle beam technique
斜角探傷 angle beam technique, angle beam testing
斜角探触子 angle probe
シャーレ Petri dish, Schale
硝安油剤爆薬  ammonium nitrate fuel oil explosives (ANFO)
食刻  etching
触針 cat's whisker
食虫植物 insectivorous plants
少糖(類) oligosaccharides
消尽 quenching
周波数弁別域値 frequency difference limen (FDL)
多元素不足当量分離法 multi-element substoichiometric separation
大気中浮遊粒子状物質 airborne particulates
等電点分画法 isoelectric fractionation
等電点焦点化[電気泳動]法 isoelectric focusing
糖結合部位 site of glycosylation
等山(等辺山形綱) equal-angle steel
追加放出 spiking (of iodine)
稠度 consistency, cone penetration (tyōdo)
稠度計 penetrometer, consistometer
潮解性 deliquescence
長尺電離箱 Long Tom chamber
超沈澱 superprecipitation
中進国 newly industrializing countries (NICs)
抽出廃液 raffinate
横ずれ strike-slip (lateral displacement?)
横ずれ変位 strike-slip faulting
溶蕩 molten metal (maguneshiumu yōtō = molten magnesium)
油母頁岩(ゆぼけつがん) oil shale
有機塩素化物 organo-chlorinated compounds
油性剤 oiliness agent, oiliness imparter, oiliness carrier, oiliness improver
残基平均旋光度 mean residue rotation
残光 afterglow
残存係数 retention factor (R.F.)
実験室用加熱解繊機 laboratory defibrator, Asplund defibrator
白航動力計 self-propulsion dynamometer
十進計数管 decatron
像質計 image quality indicator (I.Q.I.)
助けい光団 auxofluorogen
重回帰分析 multi-regression analysis

* * *


John Shields of Nagoya suggests: "How about trying to work up a comparative pricing survey? Are U.S.-based translators underpaid? Are Japan-based translators overpaid, etc.? Some kind of fee research would help, I think. With your kind of reach with the Newsletter, you could initiate it."

This ties in with the debate which we had in previous issues about "translation as a rewarding career." We have also dealt with the question of rates before but have not been able to reach any definite conclusions. My general impression is that experienced translators who are native English speakers working in Japan are currently being paid around 2,500–3,500 per 400-character Japanese page (roughly the equivalent of one English page with 230–250 words per page), and that translators in the U.S. are ordinarily being paid rates within the range of $40–$60 per 1,000 words. If these figures are right (please correct me if I am wrong), and if we assume that four 400-character pages equal 1,000 English words, we can conclude that at the current exchange rates there are no particular differences between both countries in the translation fees. A translator can make an equally good living in both countries, as far as one can judge by a mere examination of the translation fees.

I underlined, that last section because I do not think that merely making a superficial comparison of rates between two countries is very meaningful. Translators' individual situations will differ depending upon a variety of factors, such as how much work is available to them (can they obtain regular work?), their family situation (how many dependents must they support?) and their expenses (how much do they pay for rent, taxes, utilities, dictionaries, purchase or lease of office equipment?). If a translator living in Tokyo must pay more for rent and living expenses than one living in California or Texas, then he or she would be far better off living in the U.S., supposing that the translation rates paid were more or less the same in both countries. What really matters, after all, is not just the rate per word but rather how much money a translator can retain each month after paying out the necessary business expenses, and how much is left over each year after paying taxes.

Besides, money isn't everything. Quality of life and general satisfaction are also highly important. (Remember our debate in previous issues about "translation as a rewarding career"?) An advantage of being a translator is that the translator can live almost anywhere, and all of us would prefer to have a pleasant living environment. I have lived and worked in both Japan (from 1957 until 1971) and the U.S. (since 1971) and can compare both countries as far as the general quality of life is concerned. Although there are in Japan many cultural and professional opportunities which are simply not available in any other country, I think that life in many parts of the U.S. is vastly more pleasant than life in Japan. Above all, I and many others have found that the treatment of foreigners in Japan becomes intolerable after a few years. It is not a satisfying way of life to live as an alien in a country like Japan, where foreigners are denied rights and must deal constantly with the very irksome requirements of the Japanese Immigration system. Other things being equal, I would much prefer to live in a country where I am a citizen. I am not trying to get into a debate with expatriates (being an ex-expatriate myself), but my point is this: you can make a superficial comparison of translation rates in different countries, and in various parts of the same country, but the results probably will not give you sufficient insight into considerations on which you must base your career decisions.

Let's hear from other readers about this question.

* * *


The profession of translator in some ways is like that of a surgeon or carpenter or violinist. It seems to require many long years of apprenticeship and constant, daily practicing. Obviously, if you were going to have an operation or have a house built, you would go to the most experienced surgeon or carpenter you could find, one who was much in demand and who had the best possible recommendations. But there is a difference. The medical profession, carpentry and music all have generally recognized training programs or apprenticeship systems. At least you can go to a school and take classes. But these educational systems appear to be lacking for translators, at least for technical translators. Here, the rule seems to be: "No work unless you have experience, and no experience unless you have worked." This is what is called a Catch-22 situation. What does a beginner do to get started?

John Shields of Nagoya writes: "The other day a man was introduced to me. He asked me for some translation work. He has no typewriter, not a single dictionary, and no experience. In the proposed Directory, I think some indication of the years in translation work should be cited. Not necessarily an indication of competence, of course, but some indication. Nice to know at least who is a professional."

The Directory is a listing of professional services offered by readers and also is a means for helping translators to locate each other. The wording of each insertion is decided freely by the translators themselves, and some of them do indicate their number of years of experience. If someone wishes to offer work to a translator on the basis of a listing in the Directory, they can easily contact the translator and inquire about any additional information they need.

Naturally, no one expects an agency to give out work to a soi-disant translator who has no typewriter, no dictionaries, and no experience. (There are no such "translators" listed in my Directory.) The overly self-confident beginner is just as ridiculous here as in any other field. Agencies must protect themselves against being burnt by frauds and charlatans. On the other hand, every profession in the world makes provision for training novices. Experienced professionals know that a long period of preparation is required in this field, just as is the case in a medical career or in show business, for example. Many translators feel that they are "on trial" every day.

I feel that this newsletter is not restricted only to highly experienced technical translators. It can also fulfill a very useful function by giving advice to novice translators or to persons who are considering translation as a career. I think that we all should get over our childish fixation with "experience." No useful purpose will be served by simply repeating impossible, illogical conditions like: "You must have experience in order to get work, and you cannot get experience unless you work."

How does one get a start? I have heard of the courses at Sheffield University and at the University of Bonn but know of none in the U.S. Maybe agencies should offer apprentice programs to trainee translators. Are there any agencies which offer such apprenticeships to trainees?

* * *


David Jones writes that he contacted the University of Sheffield (see the article by Mary Gillender beginning on p. 20 in this issue) about their technical Japanese reading course. "Unfortunately," he writes, "its design is such that it is probably only useful to a beginner (so says the representative who replied to my inquiry). They use the method and materials developed by J. Jelinek. The same method is taught at Nanzan University in Nagoya. I am still interested in locating an advanced or open-ended study program dealing with technical Japanese. How about asking your readers if they know of such."

I would like to know about that too.

* * *


Masanori Moritani, Senior Researcher, Policy and Management Research Department, Nomura Research Institute:

Technological assistance and joint development programs must be promoted in the future. However, language poses a major obstacle, and is at least partly responsible for Japan's continuing deficit in technology trade. All Japanese researchers and engineers can read English, and many can read German or French. But how many foreigners are able to read Japanese? It is impossible to learn about Japanese technology without any knowledge of the language.

The language problem must be tackled from both sides. Japan should publish more papers and abstracts in English, and foreigners should study Japanese more. Japanese technology is worth learning from in many fields, and this body of knowledge is growing at a rapid pace. In fact, companies without Japanese specialists may find themselves falling behind and missing opportunities in the future. (Feature article "Japanese Technology," in Journal of Japanese Trade & Industry, No. 3, 1982, p.28)

Sir Hugh Cortazzi, British Ambassador to Japan, from a speech made at a meeting of the Keidanren Public Affairs Committee:

My heart sinks when I pick up a Japanese novel and find that the first sentence lasts for half a page or more. I sometimes wonder if the Japanese emphasis on consensus is not partly due to the problems of language. Everyone concerned not only needs to be persuaded that the proposed policy is the right one, but they have to understand what it really means. This can only be achieved by seemingly endless discussions about the proposal and its implications.

This leads me on to the problems of interpretation and translation. I do not claim to be good at either. I found out how difficult translation can be some years ago when I translated into English some short stories about salarymen by Genji Keita.

At first sight they looked easy, but colloquial language can be just as difficult to translate as literary language. ("What a Tangled Web We Weave with Words," Japan Times, Dec. 25, 1983)

Jack Seward:

This past summer an American wrote a book about Japan, and the publisher, in advertising the work, quoted James Michener as saying that the author "...knows more about Japan than any other living American."

A courageous claim indeed, coming from one who knows precious little about Japan himself.

Shortly thereafter, this same author visited my city and lectured on his book. One of my cronies in the audience (I was not there) stood up and asked this author a loaded question, in seeming innocence, that required a knowledge of Japanese to answer.

The author then had no choice but to answer that he did not really know the Japanese language.

Query: How is it possible to know "more about Japan than any other living American" without knowing the first step: the language? I wonder at this strange process of ratiocination. ("The Confusing World of the JALS," Japan Times, February 1, 1984)

Michael J. Mansfield, United States Ambassador to Japan:

Our relationship is the most important for the United States and without question the most important for Japan. It is tied not just to economics, but to politics, diplomacy and defense. The future of the huge Pacific Basin depends upon it. Its development — with four South American countries abutting on that ocean, Central and North America, Australia, New Zealand, the islands in the Pacific, all of East Asia including Japan — where more than half the world's population lives and where we have tremendous natural resources, great potential markets, on the whole friendly peoples and governments — will depend upon the strength, durability and reliability of the Japanese-American relationship....

The next century will be the century of the Pacific. When you look at the whole picture you have to admit that's where it all is, that's what it's all about, and that's where our future lies. This is the storehouse for Asia, and there is still much in the way of natural resources in South and North America, Mexico, Australia. There's no question in my mind about it. Facts, figures and demographic factors all point this way. Remember that on the day George Washington was inaugurated as our first President, there were 13 American Clipper ships in Canton harbor. (Interview published in The Japan Economic Journal, February 28, 1984, p.13)

* * *


This is a new feature beginning this issue. Readers may send in lists of problem words which they cannot find in any dictionary, in the hope that other readers may be able to provide help in translating them. To start the ball rolling, I am giving a few words which some readers have found troublesome recently.

Our first problem is a word encountered in a recent translation about construction. The word is 山留. It would seem to be read yamadome, although one is not absolutely sure. It does not appear in the big Inter Press dictionary, but I found the following entry for yamadome written differently but probably the same word, in the Kyoritsu Kenchiku jiten (1959):

yamadome 山止め 土の崩壊を防ぐもの、または工法

Unfortunately, no English equivalent is given there. However, the War Department's Japanese-English technical terms dictionary (War Department Technical Manual TM 30482, 1946) does have the following entry, written the same way as our word:

山留 YAMADOME Embankment, strutting

And the War Department's The supplementary Japanese-English dictionary (War Department Technical Manual TM 30-481, 1945) has this:

山留 YAMADOME Landslide protection work

It is striking that the only English definitions for this word, which was encountered in a Japanese text written recently (so we know that the word is not obsolete and is currently used in writing in Japan), were encountered in these old War Department dictionaries. This proves to me once again something that I have known for a long time. That is, these dictionaries (especially TM 30-482) are really irreplaceable treasure-houses of technical terms which even today retain their usefulness. (See no. 2, p. 6–7)

The next "problem" is the name of a plant disease, written 紋枯病. I found this one in a handbook called Sankyō nōyaku techō (Sankyo pesticide handbook), 19th edition, 1970. The handbook gives the reading mongare-byō, and has the following equivalents: Pellicularia sasaki (Sheath blight). The former is evidently the Latin name, and the second the English name of the disease in question. By the way, this is a very useful handbook listing hundreds of plant diseases, plant pests, weeds, pesticides and herbicides. I believe the handbook is not sold in bookstores. My copy is an older edition, but Sankyo could probably supply you with a more up-to-date edition.

Finally, another reader asks how to translate Tokkō 特公 and Tokkai 特開. Tokkō is, I think, an abbreviation of tokkyo shutsugan kōkoku (patent application publication), and Tokkai is, I think, an abbreviation of tokkyo kōkai (patent early disclosure). According to the National Diet Library's Directory of Japanese scientific periodicals (1979), the names of the patent gazettes in which these two types of documents are published are: Tokkyo kōhō (Patent Gazette), and Kōkai tokkyo kōhō (Kokai Patent Gazette).

This new feature, the Problem List, will appear regularly, so don't forget to send in your lists of problem words for publication in future issues.

* * *


This list was submitted by David Jones of Austin, Texas. He says the list includes most of the terms he has been unable to find in the past. The words appear in no particular order, and therefore I numbered them for convenience in reference (DLP).

  1. 沈着する (use of inanimate object, a carrier or support)
  2. 酸折する
  3. 脱硅する
  4. 止水する
  5. 流延する
  6. 紡出する
  7. 圧入
  8. 捏和する
  9. 摺接する
  10. 叩解する
  11. 転解する
  12. 分注する
  13. 融著
  14. 脚注
  15. 圧凹入する
  16. 逸散
  17. 圧送する
  18. 送給
  19. 膨疹
  20. 急冷捏和する
  21. 梨地加工する
  22. オフセットする
  23. チヌビンPS (Ciba Geigy)
  24. フロリジン
  25. アトライクー
  26. エパール (an alcohol, Kuraray KK)
  27. ハイミラン (Mitsui Polychemical KK)
  28. アドマー (Mitsui Sekiyu Kagaku)
  29. マイクロボンダバックCH (used in chromatography)
  30. レスカ社
  31. クリプテート
  32. 曳糸性
  33. 分配率
  34. 引伸優秀率
  35. 重合反応率
  36. 増感率
  37. 流出率
  38. 相対剛性率
  39. 担持率 (amount of catalyst in grams per area of carrier)
  40. 蚕黒病
  41. カイコノウジバエ
  42. 5令カイコ
  43. 稲紋桔病
  44. クワノメイガ
  45. ダイチルン
  46. 画出し
  47. 混捏物
  48. スパードロー開始温度
  49. 輻射加熱
  50. 垂シクロヘキサン
  51. 敷水
  52. 溶製法
  53. 制電性
  54. 保香性
  55. 電気入力追従性
  56. 圧著積層
  57. 粧原基
  58. 新曲げ白化
  59. 冷牽
  60. 焼入硬化
  61. 外割り
  62. 寒水クレー
  63. 三角コルベン
  64. 30段のオールダーショー型精密分留装置
  65. 混抄
  66. 綿晒
  67. 溶湯
  68. 熟保形性
  69. 原反成形
  70. 避断性
  71. 湛水
  72. 原紙
  73. 円圧成形
  74. 膣成形術
  75. 残炎時間
  76. 空気圧送方式
  77. 鉛快削鋼
  78. 摺擦力
  79. 打抜衝撃強度
  80. 管理血清
  81. 比例計算式
  82. 酸化変敗
  83. セラミック溶射
  84. 方向性珪素鋼
  85. 加熱着色
  86. 黄華鉄
  87. ポールマン笛
  88. モンタン酸
  89. アート措体
  90. タリパーゼ
  91. AC除電極
  92. ラクセル酸
  93. 伝要
  94. 通液品
  95. ベンタコサン酸
  96. 溶断ガス
  97. 角型比 [defined as Br (max. residual flux density; Bm (max. flux density)]

Each of the words on the list would require lengthy research, and I (DLP) hope to be able to get around to looking up many of them in the future. I had time to find only a few. Here are some tentative answers, subject of course to correction or confirmation by other readers:

No. 1, chinchaku or tintyaku if you like, is defined as "deposition" in the Inter Press dictionary (p. 1145).

No. 3, dakkei is defined as "desiliconizing" in the same dictionary (p. 1052) with a reference to the "Gakujutsu" dictionary on metallurgy.

No. 7, atsunyuu is defined as "press fit" and "press fitting" in the Inter Press dictionary (p. 18). In my notes I also have "pressure fitting (of rotor), force fit (of bearings), compress, compressive insertion." Take your pick.

No. 8 is read netsuwa. The netsu is also used in a combination netsuzoo meaning a fabrication. According to the War Department Japanese-English technical terms dictionary (p. 524) netsuwa means simply "Kneading." Netsuwa appears also in entry no. 20, and in no. 49 we have konnetsubutsu. The same dictionary (p. 430) defines konnetsu suru as "To mix and knead." Evidently konnetsubutsu would mean a product which has been mixed and kneaded.

No. 10, kookai means "Beating, in papermaking," according to the same dictionary (p. 416). The Ministry of Education's Japanese scientific terms, Chemistry (1974 edition) defines kōkai as "beating" in reference to pulp (p. 131).

No. 13, yuuchaku or yuutyaku is defined differently in different fields. According to the Inter Press dictionary (p. 1764) it means "anastomosis" in genetics and "fusion" in botany. There is also something called yuuchaku mambo defined as "scuffing," in industrial plants.

No. 14, kyakuchuu is probably the word for "footnote," with the second character written with sanzui instead of gonben (A common cause of "problems" for translators seems to be misprints or solecisms in the original text.)

No. 16, issan is defined in Japanese-Japanese dictionaries as meaning "to flee." The Inter Press and other dictionaries have issannoo defined as "fugacity." You should be able to find a suitable translation depending on the context. To dissipate, perhaps?

No. 17,assoo suru. In my notes I have "pressure-feed." Evidently something is sent through a pipe under pressure, as in a pneumatic dispatch tube. Am I right? See below no. 78.

No. 22. This is just the English word "offset." I asked David what is the problem? He replied: "This was used in connection with some machine (a copier, I think), and the context was something like 'operated until offset.' I don't know what this could mean."

No. 24, furorijin could be "Floridin," defined as "Trademark for a variety of fuller's earth from Florida" in Hackh's Chemical dictionary (4th ed.), p. 272. Floridin also appears on p. 551 of The Merck index (9th edition). David writes that furorijin was a mistake. What he actually had was a word called furorijiru. That, I think, is "Florisil," defined on p. 388 of The Condensed Chemical Dictionary (Van Nostrand Reinhold).

No. 32, eishisei is "spinability" (sic) according to Porimaa jiten (Taiseisha, 1970), p. 38.

No. 37, ryuushutsuritsu is defined as "runoff coefficient" in the Inter Press dictionary (p. 1827). There is also a ryuushutsu keisuu in that and other dictionaries.

No. 43, Ine-mongarebyoo is probably the same as mongare-byoo (see above, p. 33). It is a disease of rice plants.

No. 44, kuwanomeiga is Margaronia pyloalis (Mulberry pyralid), according to the Sankyo pesticide handbook(1970), p. 320.

No. 46. David writes: "Used of copier machines. I think it means make a copy."

No. 49, fukusha-kanetsu is surely "radiation heating" or something close, although I didn't find exactly those words in any dictionary.

No. 52, yooseihoo doesn't appear in any dictionaries I saw but I have a note in my files: "melting practices." That couldn't be very far off.

No. 60, yakiire-kooka presents no difficulty. Yakiire means "hardening," "quench hardening" or "quenching" (see Inter Press, p. 1750). Kooka also means "hardening." Inter Press has yakiire kookasoo fukasa (literally, depth of the yakiire-hardened layer) which it defines as "hardening depth."

No. 63 also is no mystery. Koruben is defined as "Flask, kolben" in the War Department dictionary (p. 960). Kolben means "flask" in German. No doubt a sankaku koruben is just a conical flask or an Erlenmeyer flask.

No. 65, konshoo. David supplies further information: "I was aware this is a paper industry term but in the context I found it, it referred to something like 'polyester-polyvinyl (I don't remember the actual polymers) konshoo nonwoven fabric."

No. 67, yootoo means "molten metal." It appeared, by coincidence, in the Glossary for this issue (see above, p. 29).

No. 71, tansui. If you found this term in a text about agriculture, it means "water-flooded," referring to a plot of land or a pot filled with soil.

No. 82, Hempai is defined as "rancidity" in the War Department dictionary (p. 218). Sanka hempai is no doubt when something undergoes oxidation and becomes rancid.

No. 83, Yoosha is defined as "spraying" in the Nikkei haiteku jiten in an article on p. 317. Molten metals, ceramics (metal oxides, etc.), or plastics are sprayed onto the surfaces of materials in order to coat them. There are various types of yoosha such as fureemu-yosha (flame spraying?), aaku-yoosha (arc spraying?), and purazuma-yoosha (plasma spraying?). I have an article about "ceramic spraying materials" (seramikku yoosha zairyoo) from the December 6, 1983 edition of the Nikkei sangyō shimbun.

No. 84, Hookoosei keisokootai is defined as "grain oriented silicon steel strip" in Inter Press (p. 1634) and elsewhere.

No. 86, I couldn't find this anywhere. David writes that it is a pigment. Could it possibly be an old word referring to a kind of iron oxide?. I recall that some of these are used in painting.

No. 93, This baffled me completely, and I even doubted whether it was a Japanese word. I wrote David to inquire about the context. He replied: "correct unless I or the typesetter erred. I cannot recall the context. One thing I have learned from all this is to make notes of contexts. It is unfortunately too late for many of my 'problems.'"

No. 95, I found an acid called "pentacosanoic acid" in English-Russian dictionary of petroleum chemistry and processing (Moscow, 1975), p. 24. Could this be the one? There is no Japanese-English dictionary which gives every imaginable chemical compound. For names of chemicals, you are always advised to look them up in international or English-English dictionaries, since the Japanese names are usually merely copies of the accepted international names. In extreme cases you can go to the library and look the names up in the index of Chemical Abstracts.

No. 96, yoodan is a whole story by itself. There are lots of entries for yoodan in the Inter Press dictionary (p. 1784), and there is also something called purazuma yoodan "plasma cutting." We would have to know something about the context to decide whether the gas here is a "fusion gas," a "melting gas" or a "cutting gas."

No. 97, Take your pick of readings for this one (is it pronounced kakugata-hi, I wonder?). I have "squareness" in my files.

Many other words on the list look familiar, but since David does not indicate the field (chemistry, physics, textiles, agriculture, and so on) or the context for many of them, one hardly knows which dictionary to look them up in. Maybe I will come up with some more answers by the time the next issue comes out. Readers who have solutions should please send them in. This looks like lots of fun. Problems, anyone? DLP

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The descriptive material kindly sent by the Centre of Japanese Studies, Sheffield University, mentions that research is now in progress which will result in a computerised version of the Reading Course in Scientific and Technical Japanese. The set of dictionaries will be replaced by interaction with a computer terminal. I quote from the material:

"The database for this system will include a dictionary of Japanese scientific and technical terms from a wide range of disciplines. Into this database we plan to incorporate the contents of the Gerr Files, a vast indexed collection of Japanese technical terminology, which was donated to the Centre of Japanese Studies by the late Stanley Gerr, formerly of the Pacific War Command, the Manhattan Project, etc. When this has been done, we hope to have the most comprehensive Japanese-English dictionary of scientific and technical terms anywhere in the world."

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Jay Sordean made a list of the following reference books and dictionaries which he found in the open stacks at the University of California Medical School Library in San Francisco. He made short notes about some of them.

Japanese Names, P.G. O'Neil. (Tuttle, 1972).



Directory of Japanese Scientific Periodicals (National Diet Library, 1979) 1300 pages.

"with good index in Romaji & English"

理化学大辞典 岩波 (3rd edition)

Sanyo's Tri-Lingual Glossary of Chemical Terms English-Japanese-Chinese, Yamada Hiroshi (Sanyo Shuppan Boeki Company, Ltd. 1976)

"primary entries in English; Japanese index; 2016 pages"


"I find this very useful; 10 volume set"

〔新旧対象)解剖学名集覧、日本解剖学会編〔南山堂、1963、Fourth Edition)

"fairly complete listing of anatomical terms; listings in Latin & Japanese; Japanese index."

English-Japanese, Japanese-English Technical Terms of Microbiology


"both English-to-Japanese and Japanese-to-English listings without definitions; also English to Japanese listings of bacteria, etc. (24 pages); Glossary of English abbreviations."

Japanese Scientific and Technical Serial Publications in the Collections of the Library of Congress (Library of Congress, 1962) - 247 pages; with Romaji index.

Japanese-English Medical Dictionary (Allied Forces, Southwest Pacific Area, A.T.I.S. Publication 1945)
— Japanese-English Medical Dictionary (using Kanji)
— List of Japanese Drugs by Romaji
— List of Japanese Personal Names by Romaji
— abbreviations commonly used in prescriptions

"very interesting"


"with Japanese index, but very cumbersome & essentially useless for looking up most words"

Nanzando's Medical Dictionary (Nanzando, 1963)

"Definitions too long, but good selection of terms"

divided into漢語;原語〔カタカナ);人名;和語;数学;アルファベット;and International Diseases.

"Arrangement in sections is cumbersome."

Japanese-Latin-English-German-French Medical Terminology (Kanehara Shuppan, 1958)

"Good number of entries with short definitions" "2 volumes; volume 2 is other languages to Japanese"


"Never has been very useful to me"


"Has Japanese index of drugs, apparatus, processes, etc." "Translation of this volume sits next to it."


"Medicinal plant names listed by Japanese, with English and Latin equivalents. Japanese and English indexes."

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FIELD, Rikko. Director, JLS, 61 Renato Court, Suite 1, Redwood City, CA 94061. Tel.: (415) 321-9832. Technical translation and interpreting; IBM Displaywriter-processed copy; Japanese typesetting and typewriting. All technical fields including patents and legal documents.

HOWE, Josephine. 158 Wood Street, Doylestown, PA 18901, USA (Philadelphia Area). Tel.: (215) 348-7884. Japanese and French to English; pharmaceutical, medical, biochemical and industrial chemical research and patents. M.A. Japanese, Columbia U., New York, N.Y. B.A. English (French and Japanese minors, biosciences course work) Indiana U., Bloomington, IN.

JENSON, W.L. 1-24 Tashiro Hondori, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Japan 464. Tel.: (052)7626532. Freelance Technical Translation (Japanese to English), proofreading & rewriting. Field: Mechanical engineering specializing in automobiles. (Seven years' experience with Toyota Motor Corp. and affiliates.)

JONES, David G. 3013 Yellowpine Terrace, Austin, TX 78757. Tel.: (512) 451-4381. Japanese to English. Patents covering chemical synthesis, plastics, photography, electrophotography, magnetic recording media, etc.

MUNOZ, Roey. 7401 Cannon Mt. P1., Austin, TX 78749. Tel.: (512)288-1897. JapaneseEnglish and Spanish-English translation. ES in Japanese language from Georgetown Univ. with 6 years of translation experience. Special interest in medicine, pharmaceuticals and chemistry.

SORDEAN, Jay, C.A. 505 23rd St., Apt. 4, Oakland, CA 94612. Tel.: (415) 839-9527. Languages: Japanese. Subjects: Medical, biological, patents, chemistry, electronics, mechanical engineering, Oriental medicine, computers, legal, etc.

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Send in your tidbits, etc., and I will incorporate them in another issue. Those who send in glossaries (and problem lists) from now on should provide the kanji for the Japanese words. I will type them in Japanese if necessary. Don't forget to write if you want your name to be included in the Directory in the next issue.

March 10, 1984

Donald L. Philippi
715 Tenth Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 752-7735

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