No. 19 — September 10, 1984

This is, probably, the only newsletter published anywhere in the world by and for our farflung and obscure community of Japanese technical translators. It is a completely grassroots endeavor with no subsidies or support except that given by its readers. It is now going into its second year and has more than 150 readers on three continents. I hope that the newsletter will evolve into a trailblazing publication which will contribute to winning greater public recognition for the important role which we Japanese technical translators have to play in the area of Japanese scientific and technical information, which is becoming increasingly important in the world today.


Your subscriptions are now for a 6-month period from June (no. 16) to November, 1984 (no. 20). The 6-months' subscription is $20. Overseas readers should contact the overseas distributor for their area.

A complete set of the first year's issues (no. 1 through no. 15) is available from the editor for $20 (U.S.) or $25 (Japan and Europe).


Readers' letters and contributions are very welcome. Readers who wish to help out can volunteer to be associate editors. They will be asked to write one or two articles a month. The editor will supply them with the raw material (Japanese-language press clippings, reference materials, etc.). Volunteers should write me giving details. of when they will be available.

Associate editor for this issue is Derek P. Freyberg. Many thanks to him and to the other contributors writing in this issue, including Dario F. Robertson, Paula Doe, Hannah Feneron, Preston K. Maxwell and John Bukacek.


The following readers are reproducing the newsletter and distributing it to others in their countries:

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

Ms. Rosemary J. Yates, Japan Business Services Unit, The University of Sheffield. Sheffield S10 2TN, England

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Dario F. Robertson, Esq.

[This is a slightly abridged version of a paper which Dario F. Robertson wrote for the August 1984 issue of East Asian Executive Reports and is reprinted with the permission of the copyright holders. COPYRIGHT 1984 Dario F. Robertson and East Asian Executive Reports, 1101 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20005 USA.]

Japanese research and development in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making striking new advances which rival the achievements of the best American and English research laboratories. The government's Institute for New Generation Computer Technology (ICOT) is stimulating the Japanese private sector to undertake largescale independent research projects to develop state-of-the-art knowledge processing software called expert systems.

In the following article, the author briefly discusses the significance and background of the artificial intelligence phenomenon in Japan, analyzes the research themes and recent achievements of ICOT and evaluates the embryonic Japanese AI sector, focusing on two different strategies adopted by firms in the Japanese market for building an internationally competitive AI development capability.

The Japanese artificial intelligence (AI) industry may be technically less sophisticated and structurally less developed than its counterpart in the U.S., but it is certainly no less promising as a high technology sector. In fact, the industry's relative immaturity, in this instance, is an important characteristic identifying it as an attractive investment opportunity. Further, the disparity between Japanese AI capabilities and those of other leading industrial nations will inevitably result in many binational trading and licensing relationships, making the careful study of the Japanese AI effort vitally important from a trade and investment perspective as well as from a public policy standpoint.

Despite the announcement of the Fifth Generation Computer Project in October 1981 and the subsequent establishment of the Institute for New Generation Computer Technology (ICOT) in April 1982, artificial intelligence research and development in the Japanese private sector has lagged far behind that undertaken by AI companies in both the U.S. and England. The Japanese AI industry is presently in the same approximate embryonic stage of development as was the U.S. industry in 1980, but with one crucial difference: the Japanese AI industry will be able to grow much faster during its first four years of existence by taking full advantage of public domain research and by licensing foreign AI systems. Thus, investing in Japanese AI concerns today would be roughtly tantamount to investing in the few promising American AI firms that were formed in 1980, but with much greater knowledge of the technological feasibility and commercial viability of AI products.

AI & Expert Systems

The commercial applications of advanced research in the field of Artificial Intelligence promise major structural change in the computer industry in both the U.S. and Japan, spawning a distinct growth industry within a growth industry. Many AI firms claim that the coming industry transformation will be so profound that the ramifications will extend far beyond the boundaries of engineering science and sectoral economics. The implications of artificial intelligence, it is often claimed, will ultimately permeate the fabric of contemporary social organization, producing an order of magnitude change in productivity and the distribution of knowledge that will mark the beginning of an information-oriented "post-industrial" revolution.

Definitions of the term "artificial intelligence" are surprisingly infrequent in the relevant technical literature, and, where they do occur, are often apologetically circular. Of course, "intelligence" is the troublesome term because it is such a complex and controversial concept even outside the field of computer science. MIT Professor Patrick H. Winston, a leading AI academician, explains that a "definition in the usual sense seems impossible because intelligence appears to be an amalgam of so many information-representation and information-processing talents." He does insist, however, that the "primary goal of Artificial Intelligence is to make machines smarter. The secondary goals... are to understand what intelligence is (the Nobel laureate purpose) and to make machines more useful (the entrepreneurial purpose)."

Originally, AI research proceeded on the assumption that it might be possible to endow computers with symbolic reasoning capabilities similar to those of the human mind by isolating a few fundamental laws of logic, distilling those laws into sophisticated software systems and linking their operation to powerful computers. It was soon discovered, however, that efforts to develop general purpose problem-solving "machine intelligence," applicable across a variety of domains of knowledge and based on a finite number of elegant laws of reasoning, were not producing satisfactory results. This early approach proved impractical because it relied too heavily on search strategies which often produced a "combinatorial explosion" of possible solutions for the computer to pursue or required search space that could not be cost-effectively generated.

A consensus gradually emerged in the 1970s that, for real world problems, expert domain knowledge was a more important factor in obtaining cost-effective results than particular search strategies or inference procedures. "Knowledge" came to signify not only the ordinary collection of facts contained in a conventional data base or human memory, but also the set of assumptions and rules of thumb on which complex expert decisions are usually predicated. This second category of knowledge was designated heuristics.

When computer reasoning power was found to be a function of intensive knowledge about a limited domain of facts and heuristics, the focus of AI research naturally shifted to the development of expert systems possessing an enormous quantity of highly structured information about a well-defined set of problems. Stanford University Professor Edward A. Feigenbaum defines an expert system as an "intelligent computer program that uses knowledge and inference procedures to solve problems that are difficult enough to require significant human expertise for their resolution. The knowledge necessary to perform at such a level, plus the inference procedures used, can be thought of as a model of the expertise of the best practitioners in the field."

The symbolic computing methods utilized in expert systems are not simply an extension of earlier cost-performance improvements in conventional software designs; they represent a distinctly new generation of software systems which endow a computer with the ability to reason by manipulating specialized knowledge represented in the form of linguistic symbols stored in an electronic memory. Expert systems can be developed in virtually any specialized domain of knowledge. Examples of knowledge domains which have proven particularly wellsuited to the inference procedures of state-of-the-art expert systems include medicine, computer aided design, machine fault diagnosis, financial analysis, geology, security system control, accounting, automatic translation, mathematics and molecular biology.

The Fifth Generation Computer Project

Cognizant of the enormous social and commercial promise of. advanced AI applications, the Japanese government has decided to make a conscious effort to advance the state-of-the-art to its next corollary: the fifth generation computer system. With the foundation of ICOT in April 1982, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) announced a baseline budget for the new research institution of the yen equivalent of $450 million to be disbursed over the ten-year life of the project. The first three-year phase of the project is being fully funded by MITI, but only 10 percent of the total MITI contribution is budgeted for this period. The expenditure of the remaining $405 million is being conservatively deferred until the second phase of the project when development costs are expected to run especially high. In the second and third stages, MITI expects to raise matching funds from participating companies, increasing the total budget to a range between $850 million and $1 billion.

ICOT's offices on the 21st floor of the Mita Kokusai Building in downtown Tokyo are divided into two discrete functional units. The General Affairs Office, which employs about ten individuals, is charged with primary administrative responsibility. The Research Center, on the other hand, actually conducts the Institute's basic fifth generation R&D through the efforts of approximately forty engineers "on loan" from the consortium of eight Japanese electronics firms backing ICOT arid several prestigious national laboratories. The Research Center is further divided into a Research Planning Department and three Research Laboratories.

As ICOT's Hitoshi Aizawa explains, the central purpose of fifth gene ration R&D "is to establish the foundation for a quantum jump in the information technology field." The Japanese believe that the forthcoming fifth generation hardware and software will be so revolutionary as to justify renaming computers "knowledge information processors" or KIPS in recognition of the separate but interrelated functions of factual information and relational knowledge characteristic of artificial intelligence.

Four central themes of ICOT's current R&D efforts warrant special attention:

The R&D efforts of ICOT's forty "borrowed" engineers are loosely coordinated with two other public sector AI projects of special significance. First, the Musashino Electrical Communication Laboratory (Denden Musashino Tsuken) of Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Public Corporation (NTT) has designed a "dataflow" system utilizing parallel processing units, claiming it is "the first hardware of this type ever designed in the world." A prototype of the new Data-Flow Machine (DFM) will be completed by spring 1985 and is expected to process programs at speeds 30 times faster than existing computers in common use. ICOT Director Dr. Kazuhiro Fuchi, the former head of the Information Sciences Division of MITI's Electrotechnical Laboratory, has said that the approach taken by the Musashino Laboratory is "basically the same as ICOT's thinking."

Second, the Electrotechnical Laboratory of MITI's Agency of Industrial Science and Technology (Densoken) has also completed detailed specifications for a prototype parallel processing computer that will run a LISPbased language rather than PROLOG. The first prototype will be finished in August 1984. The Electrotechnical Laboratory has already claimed that preliminary simulation tests on a mainframe computer have confirmed that the theoretical basis of the new LISP machine is functionally sound. The research orientation of the Electrotechnical Laboratory differs significantly from ICOT's to the extent it manifests a clear preference for LISP over PROLOG as the machine, language of the logic processor, a preference in which most foreign AI researchers would unequivocally concur. Although PROLOG offers software engineers processing speeds and a certain theoretical elegance which LISP cannot yet rival, LISP is by far the more flexible language for complex knowledge representation and symbolic computation.

There are several important implications of the Japanese public sector AI effort for the foreign business community. First, the strong support of the Japanese government may enable Japanese firms to move ahead of foreign competitors in the AI field. For example, ICOT workers regularly report back to their companies, keeping them fully apprized of crucial developments. Second, the possibility of direct participation in the ICOT project should not be overlooked by foreign hardware and software firms. The governments of the United Kingdom, France and West Germany are all currently exploring the possibility of establishing a joint development effort with ICOT. U.S. policymakers, however, remain unresponsive to Japanese overtures apparently as a result of their belief that, as the reputed industry leader, the U.S. has little to gain and much to lose in collaborating with Japan in the development of the fifth generation system. Such a belief is, of course, predicated on the rather short-sighted assumption that the marginal comparative advantage currently enjoyed by U.S. AI firms is a static feature of the international computer industry. Third, the Japanese AI effort will produce numerous new trade and investment opportunities which should be thoroughly explored by foreign AI firms and institutional investors.

AI Firms in Japan

Only a handful of firms in the Japanese computer industry currently have any significant independent research and development programs in artificial intelligence. While there is mounting interest in such R&D programs, few companies have the expertise and manpower to launch major projects. The most significant bottleneck in this sector is without question the acute shortage of software engineers with a solid foundation in the most advanced techniques in AI programming. "Knowledge engineering," the process by which facts and heuristics are derived from individual experts and stored in a highly structured computer memory for subsequent problemsolving applications, is itself a category of expertise possessed by a remarkably small number of Japanese technicians. In fact, must of the private sector R&D that is taking place in this area is being done by graduate students at leading national universities pursuant to short-term employment contracts with Japanese electronics firms.

At present, the leading firms in AI research and development in the Japanese market include Computer Services Corporation (CSK), Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEXSYS International, Sord Computer Corporation and Toyo Information Services. A comparison of the strategic planning of two selected firms, CSK and NEXSYS International, offers an illuminating insight into two different approaches to the establishment of an internationally competitive expert systems development capability.

CSK has aggressively entered the artificial intelligence business through a threefold stratgy encompassing the licensing of leading U.S. software systems, the acquisition of significant equity positions in key joint venture partners and the foundation of an artificial intelligence research institution. CSK is a medium sized corporation capitalized at approximately 15.7 billion yen or about 65 million dollars, employing 3,421 workers. Despite its size and financial position, CSK suffers from a serious shortage of well-qualified AI engineers.

The first significant indications of CSK's move from conventional information processing software into artificial intelligence came in the fall of 1982 when it financed the purchase by Bravice International, a Tokyo translation firm, of a 51 percent interest in Weidner Communications Corporation of Northbrook, Illinois, a company known for its advanced R&D in machine translation systems. Bravice subsequently conveyed a 25 percent share of Weidner to CSK, retaining a 26 percent interest. The cost of acquiring a controlling interest in Weidner reportedly exceeded 800 million yen or nearly 3.5 million dollars. In October 1983, CSK announced a collaboration agreement and stock swap with Bravice International. The agreement between the two firms provided for the acquisition by CSK of 30 percent of Bravice, the joint development of a Japanese-English machine translation system for the IBM 5550 and a continuing long-term R&D project in AI. The conclusion of such a formal agreement between the two firms was expected by many industry analysts after the fall 1982 purchase by Bravice of 51 percent of Weidner.

While CSK was planning the Weidner takeover with Bravice, it was simultaneously negotiating another stock acquisition with Intelligenetics, Inc. of Palo Alto, California. In November 1983, Intelligenetics executed a licensing agreement with CSK for the U.S. firm's AI software system named Knowledge Engineering Environment (KEE). The agreement provided for an exclusive license to CSK to sublicense end-users of KEE and for the payment of minimum license fees from FY 1984 to FY 1986. In connection with the KEE license, CSK purchased 166,666 shares of Intelligenetic's Series C Preferred Stock at $6.00 per share for approximately 1 million dollars. Salient characteristics of this particular series of preferred stock included a liquidation preference of $6.00 per share, no entitlement to dividends, limited voting rights, and conditional convertibility into common stock.

The convertibility provision of the CSK-Intelligenetics stock acquisition agreement is an instructive example of one possible means of structuring the simultaneous licensing of computer software and the international sale of equity securities to raise needed growth capital. The conversion of the preferred stock into common in this example was conditioned upon approval of the licensing agreement by the relevant Japanese government agency and payment by CSK of certain amounts specified in the licensing agreement. In this case, as in most cases of high technology imports to Japan, the government acted expeditiously to approve the contract prior to the contractual deadline. Following government approval, CSK paid the minimum licensing fee of $450,000 for FY 1984 to Intelligenetics, triggering the conversion of the Series C Preferred Stock into the firm's Common Stock on a share-for-share basis as of January 6, 1984. Upon conversion, CSK became the owner of a 3.5 percent equity interest in Intelligenetics.

In December 1983, CSK founded an AI research institute (CSK Sogo Kenkyujo), headed by Nitsuharu Yata, a former Senior Researcher at MITI's Electrotechnical Laboratory. The new CSK research institute sponsored a three-day seminar on artificial intelligence in mid-June 1984 at which noted AI specialist Edward A. Feigenbaum, a former director of Intelligenetics, gave a presentation.

In contrast to the CSK stock acquisitions and takeovers, NEXSYS International has pursued an entry strategy characterized by carefully negotiated licensing agreements with U.S. and U.K. artificial intelligence firms for specific software environments unaccompanied by any complicating equity exchange between licensor and licensee. Rather than structuring tie-up arrangements with R&D partners through the use of stock swaps or equity acquisitions, NEXSYS has typically preferred to establish a discrete joint venture entity owned on a 50–50 basis by itself and its joint venture partner. For example, NEXSYS is currently in the process of negotiating such a joint venture structure with Carnegie Group, Inc. (CGI) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the leading developer of expert systems for manufacturing and industrial environments in the U.S.

NEXSYS has also expressed a strong interest in licensing CGI's most advanced AI software environment called SLR PLUS, an integrated knowledge representation and problem solving system which operates in FRANZ and COMMON LISP. NEXSYS has also initiated licensing negotiations with Export Software International Ltd. of Edinburgh, Scotland to develop a Japanese language version of Expert-Ease, the first expert system meta-package available for use on personal computers.

NEXSYS International differs from most AI firms developing expert systems for the Japanese market in another fundamental respect: it is an American company, incorporated in Delaware, whose engineering staff is composed almost entirely of Japanese nationals residing in Tokyo. It is a uniquely binational corporation founded by a group of Japanese and American enterpreneurs expressly for the purpose of bridging ongoing research and development in the field of Artificial Intelligence between the U.S. and Japan. Unlike most Japanese firms entering the AI market, NEXSYS has an expert staff of AI scholar-engineers recruited from the faculty of leading national universities, research institutions and software firms. Finally, the firm's binational character gives it easier access to capital markets in both the U.S. and Japan.

In conclusion, it is apparent that the Japanese artificial intelligence industry is developing rapidly and aggressively. Despite the Japanese industry's technical and structural immaturity relative to its counterparts in the U.S. and the U.K., it is clear that MITI's fifth generation computer project and the extensive licensing of foreign AI software systems are accelerating the pace of expert system development in Japan. Despite the paucity of trained Japanese knowledge engineers and AI programmers, it is quite possible that Japanese firms will be able to match or surpass the U.S. private sector's AI development capability within five years. The trade and investment implications of such a forecast should not be taken lightly by foreign software developers, institutional investors or U.S. policymakers.

[Dario Robertson is President of NEXSYS International, Inc. He received his J.D. from the Northwestern University Law School, his LL.M. from the Yale Law School and his M.P.A. from the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. — Ed.]

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Japan Information Center of Science & Technology (JICST), the special corporation belonging to the Science and Technology Agency, has announced grandiose plans to spend about 10 billion (or over $42 million at a recent exchange rate) to build what will be Japan's largest center of scientific information at Tsukuba Science City (Ibaraki Prefecture), a city which has been created under a government program to build a national center for scientific and technological research and education in many fields. The new JICST center will contain a library housing JICST's collection of documents accumulated over the past 30 years, as well as training facilities for specialists in information retrieval and think-tank researchers. The Nihon keizai shimbun of July 29, 1984, reporting this plan, says that the JICST aims at creating a "palace of scientific and technical information."

JICST has already arranged to rent a government-owned site of 33,000 square meters adjacent to the Science and Technology Agency's Exchange Center. JICST will rent the site for ¥710,000 (about $3,034) a month from the government and plans to begin construction work in FY 1985. The building plans are grandiose, and the construction work will be strung out over about three periods. Most of the 10 billion funding for the construction will be supplied by the Japanese government. Upon completion, JICST will no longer be merely a public database agency, but will be transformed into Japan's largest think-tank in the field of science and technology.

The main purpose of constructing the new center will be to provide impetus for rapid consolidation and dissemination of Japan's scientific and technological information, an area in which Japan is perceived as lagging far behind other countries such as the U.S. Since the gap cannot be breached merely by continuing to supply on-line information services, the aim is to construct a gigantic base in an all-out effort to catch up.

Among the main components of the center will be a school for training specialists in information retrieval and an institute for research and development in fields such as machine translation. There is a shortage of specialists in information processing and retrieval, and the center will train such specialists as well as personnel specialized in specific fields of science and technology. The training center will also carry out thinktank functions by using specialists whom it will train to analyze trends and to evaluate technologies in specific fields of science and technology. In offering its think-tank services to businesses and organizations, JICST will attempt to make effective use of the immense amounts of documents and information it has collected.

A main purpose of the research institute will be to establish a system for machine translation from Japanese to English in an effort to help in solving the problem of unbalanced flow of information between Japan and foreign countries. The institute will also grapple with tasks such as simplification of methods for abstracting and retrieval.

JICST's libraries and computer facilities for on-line services, which are currently scattered at two locations in Tokyo, will also be moved to the Tsukuba center in order to assure greater convenience in service to users.

During August of this year, JICST will launch a committee for coordinating the work of planning this information center. The committee will reflect the views of specialists in various fields. JICST hopes that the launching of this committee will help the Science and Technology Agency in obtaining funds for the center from the Ministry of Finance. (Nihon keizai shimbun, July 29, 1984)

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An article by E.S. Browning in The Wall Street Journal of August 15, 1984, describes a shift in Japanese government policy which could have an effect on the U.S. arms industry. Entitled "Japanese to Share Military Know-How With U.S.," the article quotes a number of Japanese and American specialists about transfers of defense technology and dual-purpose technology with both civilian and military applications. One diplomat in Tokyo is quoted as saying: "I think the best way to stay ahead of the Japanese is to get access to their technology."

The change in Japanese government policy occurred in November, 1983, when Japan agreed to ease a seven-year-old ban on exports of defense technology. U.S. experts say that they are most interested in dual-purpose technology.

Past efforts by U.S. defense specialists to learn from the Japanese, says the article, have had poor results. "Few U.S. defense experts speak Japanese or attend Japanese scientific conferences, where new ideas are discussed. Japanese researchers publish as many as 10,000 scientific or technical papers each year, U.S. officials say. But less than 20% are translated into English, so U.S. experts don't know what most of them say."

Examples of the types of Japanese technologies which might possibly help the U.S. in its weapons development include: semiconductors, lasers, optics, robotics, voice and. pattern recognition, microwave integrated circuits, rocket propulsion, composite materials, flat displays, and high temperature materials.

One U.S. arms salesman in Tokyo is quoted as saying: "America knows how to make a ceramic engine, but U.S. companies aren't doing it .... The Japanese are doing it."

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The U.S. Department of Defense board has issued a report listing 16 areas of Japanese dual-purpose technology in which the U.S. is interested. At the sixth bilateral government-level talks held previously in Washington, the DOD had indicated that it was interested in only five areas: gallium arsenide, optoelectronics, compound materials, ceramics, and heat-resistant materials. The new report lists 16 areas of technology in which the U.S. is interested, indicating that the Pentagon is interested in a far broader range of Japanese technologies than was believed previously. The following are the areas of technology mentioned in the latest report, the contents of which became known on August 22:

The 142-page report is based on the findings of a mission from the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Science Board which visited Japan in November, 1983. The mission was headed by M.R. Currie, senior vice president of Hughes Aircraft Co.

The report does not mention the concrete contents of each of the technological fields (designations such as "production technologies" would appear to be quite vague) or exactly which Japanese manufacturers possess the technologies. It is anticipated that the U.S. will soon begin to approach the relevant Japanese companies individually and request them to supply the definite technologies which the U.S. wants. (Nihon keizai shimbun, August 23, 1984; Japan Economic Journal, August 28, 1984)

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by Paula Doe

In the process of talking to others — mostly suggested by your newsletter — about the problem of monitoring Japanese technology, I came across some tidbits that might be of interest to you.

Clark Johnson, whose Magnetics Society of the IEEE is starting to publish 3000-some pages a year of translations of Japanese technical papers in their new Translation Journal on Japanese Magnetics, was surprised when I asked him if he had considered having the translation done in this country. He said that qualified people weren't available here, and the work also had to be done in Japan for instant access to authors and journals. So he's contracted with a firm in Japan to do the translation.

Engineering Information Inc. is also having the translation for their proposed high tech information tracking service done in Japan, because, they say, it's faster and cheaper not to have to airfreight the journals. Starting in January, they will offer translations of the titles of articles and indexing of 1000 Japanese engineering journals — for a mere $45,000 a year. The service is offered at cost, says product planning manager Mary Burger, and journal acquisition and translation account for fully half the high price. Engineering Information talked to a number of government agencies trying to scare up some cooperation, but they all just said "good luck, it's a great idea." EI has been looking for a technical Japanese translator for their New York office for months without success.

David Shonyo, director of the Commerce Department's National Technical Information Service, tells me that contrary to press reports here and in Japan, his agency did not get any money to monitor foreign technology and isn't really doing much of anything in regard to Japan. They told Mitsubishi Research to stop sending them stuff in Japanese, and though they will be getting Japanese government reports soon under a new agreement with MITI, Shonyo says "I don't know what we'll do with them if they're in Japanese." He also complains how frustrating it is to have to use the government bidding system when they occasionally do have money to get things translated. "We once went through ten organizations, starting with the low bidder and going up the list," he says of his efforts to get some Japanese material translated. "None of them could do it. The first sent back an unacceptable job. The rest just sent it back and said they couldn't do it." He sees machine translation as the ray of hope, and is trying to get a group of government agencies together to test the Weidner system. JICST has agreed to let the U. S. government use its abstract base if it wants, and there is an inter-agency study group looking into the matter, but there's no money to do anything and limited enthusiasm for accessing the database in Japanese.

Doesn't sound like we're going to make any big strides in monitoring Japanese technology anytime soon, does it?

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The editor showed Patria Doe's article to Hannah Feneron of Leo Kanner Associates, Redwood City, California. This is what she wrote (dated August 26, 1984) about Paula's findings:

The reasons given to Paula Doe concerning why firms go to Japan for their translation work all seem rather specious to me:

Quality — it would seem that translation quality is just as good here. I have heard horror stories from native American translators working in Japan, who say they have to stand by silently and watch their work be butchered by an editor who has a poor knowledge of English. Given this situation, I can't imagine that the quality of translations done in Japan could be generally superior to that in the U.S.

Instant access to authors and journals — I simply don't believe this. How many times have translators had the luxury of instant access to the authors whose papers they translate, even when the author may work in the same city? Particularly if the work is done through an agency, there is a tendency for the agent to "protect" his clients from the translators. Usually all questions that arise are filtered through the agent, and it can take days to obtain an answer to a question about terminology, acronyms, etc.

Faster turnaround — I always shudder when a client wants a job fast. Faster is definitely not better, and even the best translators make mistakes when they're rushed.

Cheaper not to have airfreight journals to the US — considering the going rates for highquality J-to-E translation, this is a very minor point.

What all these excuses seem to add up to is one giant case of laziness and/or short-sightedness on the part of those who procure J-E translations for use in this country.

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As reported in a previous issue (TJT, no. 17, p. 47), Japan Information Service (JIS), an Austin-based company headed by Tomoyuki Satoh, is recruiting abstractors and translators to participate in a new project. JIS is in the process of starting a new abstracting and indexing service in conjunction with Japan Technical Information Service (JTIS), a new division of a major U.S. information provider. JTIS is or will be located in Philadelphia, and the service will be inaugurated in September. Mr. Satoh indicated that he himself will be moving to Philadelphia some time soon.

Mr. Satoh called on the editor during a brief visit to San Francisco on August 21 and explained some of his ambitious plans. He said that the new service will initially cover about 400 Japanese technical and business journals on a regular basis by the end of 1986, and the coverage may expand to approximately 1,000 titles by the end of 1987. JTIS will also offer clients full-text translation services of any of the articles indexed. The first products will be marketed in January or February of 1985. Mr. Satoh is not ready to reveal the name of the "major U.S. information provider," but the editor can assure readers that it is indeed a major U.S. corporation which already operates an important information service. This newsletter will publish more information about the exact detail when they become available. If and when JTIS begins operations in the manner described by Mr. Satoh, it it sure to have a significant impact on the monitoring of Japanese science and technology in this country, not to mention a considerable impact on the U.S. translation industry.

Mr. Satoh told me that a large number of abstractors and translators have already sent in their resumes. He said that, when the new service begins operation, there will be steady work on a permanent basis, and he hopes that this will help translators overcome the "feast and famine" problems which they currently face. He indicated that abstractors will be paid by the hour but said that the pay schedules have not been decided.

Being a J-E translator himself, Mr. Satoh is eager to do something to help gain greater recognition for our professional community. He had very kind words to say about this newsletter, which he said he found extremely useful, and said that he would like to explore ways by which the newsletter could play some part in the operations of JTIS.

For further information, write to:

Tom Satoh, Director,
Japan Information Service
P.O. Box 8486
Austin, TX 78713-8486

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James Reston of the New York Times writes that America is in some ways an "underdeveloped country" in language (see issue no. 16, p. 16). An article in the Christian Science Monitor of May 8, 1984 speaks of "scientific myopia" and an inclination to overlook foreign R&D work. The article says that Americans need to import another Japanese asset: the desire to learn from others. Translation is the essential component, the one key able to open the black box. According to one source, less than 20% of the 10,000 scientific and technical papers published annually by Japanese researchers are translated into English (see this issue, p. 11).

We know that the Japanese translation industry had an estimated sales total of ¥500 billion in FY 1982 (see no. 16, p. 4) and that it involves "tens of thousands" of people in one way or another (see no. 18, p. 18). The Japan Information Center of Science & Technology (JICST) is planning to spend ¥910 billion to build a mammoth "palace of scientific and technical information" which will promote the dissemination of Japan's scientific and technological information (see this issue, p. 9–10).

The European translation industry is also gigantic. We are told that 150 million pages of documents are translated annually by 175,000 translators in EEC countries (see this issue, p. 19). This is undoubtedly because of the large number of languages spoken in Europe, and most translations are probably back and forth between various European languages. In the U.S., translations are mostly going in one direction, from various foreign languages into English.

No one knows exactly how many translators there are in the U.S. We do know that JPRS, the largest translating agency in the country, according to one source, employs about 850 freelance translators for all languages and currently translates either 75 or 85 million words a year (see no. 11, p. 22 and Postscript to this issue). If we double that number and assume that there are 1,700 full-time freelance translators (for all languages) in the U.S., that number would be one-tenth the number of translators in Europe. Numerically speaking at least, translators in the U.S. appear to be far less significant than translators in either Europe or Japan. If these numbers are any indication, Mr. Reston seems to be quite right about the U.S. being an "underdeveloped country" in language, although of course we must remember that the translation needs in this country are quite different from those in Europe. We can say that translation seemingly plays a far less important role in the U.S. than it does in either Japan or Europe.

Even though there is a whole community of professional J-E translators now at work in this country, this community is largely invisible and appears, to be unable to draw attention to itself. As a result, there is, unfortunately, a widespread perception in America that it is impossible to obtain Japanese-to-English translations in this country. Clark Johnson of the IEEE Magnetics Society told Paula Doe that "qualified" translators "weren't available" in this country. Paula was told approximately the same thing by David Shonyo of NTIS and by Engineering Information Inc. of New York (see this issue, p. 12–13). As a result of this perception, large and expensive J-E translation projects are being sent to translation agencies in Japan, impeding the growth of the American translation industry and depriving American translators of their chance to contribute. Unless something can be done to publicize the existence of J-E translators in this country, this situation will merely grow worse. Let us hope that the Japan Technical Information Service (JTIS) currently being organized by Tom Satoh will contribute to improving the situation for translators when it begins its operations.

The problem is deeper than a mere misapprehension about whether translators are "available" here. Articles appearing in the press give the impression again and again that Americans are not interested in finding out about Japanese technology. The NTIS finds "little interest in hard-core Japanese lab reports." (See this issue, p. 52). Paula Doe reports that NTIS "isn't really doing much of anything in regard to Japan ... there's no money to do anything and limited enthusiasm for accessing" the JICST database in Japanese. (See this issue, p. 12–13)

The familiar words keep popping up: myopia, arrogance, lack of enthusiasm, lack of interest, "not available here." A nation's competitive power depends on its possession of information about its chief competitors. A lack of curiosity could mean national defeat. Wars have been lost as a result of lack of information. We J-E translators are uniquely qualified to play an important role in today's international situation. The tragedy is that our existence is being overlooked, we are being relegated to obscurity, and American businesses, ignoring our very existence, are sending large translation jobs outside of the country.

I repeat my call for a "politics of translating" which I first proposed in the April 1984 issue (issue no. 14, p. 14–15). I would like to ask again for readers to respond to the following questions:

  1. What are the reasons for the obscurity of our profession of Japanese translators? Is it because we lack our own professional institution? Do we have a negative self-image which is self-defeating? If so why? Is translating something that we are doing for want of something better or because we stumbled into this career by accident? Do translators care about their profession enough to get out and do something to publicize and promote it?
  2. What are the obstacles which will stand in our way as we attempt to win greater social recognition for our professional role? Some blame may have to be aimed at Japaneselanguage teachers, who may be fostering negative attitudes towards the learning of technical Japanese by university students.
  3. What can our profession do now and in the future to obtain greater recognition of the importance of our role as J-E translators on the part of business, government, education and the general public?
  4. Should we take the initiative into our own hands, such as by starting up our own J-E technical translators' organization, or should we rely on others (the ATA, the translation agencies, etc.) to enhance our status for us? J-E translators in the San Francisco Bay Area have already successfully held two meetings, which they found to be extremely useful, but I have yet received no word about any meetings in other areas. Are translators going to just wait silently in the darkness and hope that someone will eventually discover that they exist?

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The Semiconductor Equipment & Materials Institute, Inc. (SEMI), a nonprofit trade association for equipment, materials and services suppliers to the semiconductor industry, has decided to establish an office in Tokyo this autumn in order to expand its organizational presence in Japan. It will organize an advisors' group consisting of 10 companies, including Nippon Kogaku K.K., Canon, Inc. and Tokyo Electron Limited. SEMI has already started work aimed at recruiting Japanese staff members from employees of Japanese semiconductor trading companies.

SEMI has about 850 corporate members and about 750 individual members in the U.S., Europe and Japan. However, it has fewer than 50 corporate members in Japan, and the Japanese office is expected to place primary emphasis on increasing the number of its Japanese members and on promoting the adoption of the SEMI Standards in Japan.

SEMI headquarters are located at 625 Ellis Street, Suite 212, Mountain View, CA 94043. Its president is Charles F. Drexel, president of Tylan Corporation.

As reported in previous issues, the American Electronics Association (AEA) has already established a Tokyo office, and the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has started a branch in Japan.

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NEXSYS International, Inc., a unique binational corporation established for the purpose of "bridging ongoing research and development in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) between the United States and Japan," is currently negotiation a joint venture agreement with the Carnegie Group, Inc. (CGI) of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, according to Dario F. Robertson, president of NEXSYS. (See Robertson's article about Artificial Intelligence in Japan elsewhere in this issue.)

NEXSYS International is presently headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, but the company's engineering staff is composed entirely of Japanese nationals residing in Tokyo. Founders are Susumu Shimada, Yasumasa Suzuki, Jin Kinoshita, Nobukuni Kino, Toshiaki Tanaka, Michio Kimura, Dario F. Robertson and Roger B. Suyama.

Among the long-term projects which NEXSYS International is considering is the joint development of a Japanese-English machine translation system for a personal computer. According to Robertson, the new system would be based on an entirely different design than the much larger one currently being marketed with little success by the CSK-Bravice-Weidner triumvirate.

The NEXSYS machine translation system would be based on the pioneering research of Masaru Tomita, who is one of NEXSYS' directors and key engineers. Tomita is currently a graduate student finishing his doctorate in Computer Science at Carnegie-Mellon University. Rather than attempting the complete translation of previously composed documents with the aid of a bilingual post-editor, the NEXSYS system would translate input sentences as they are entered into the computer and ask the user (in his own language) to clarify the meaning of grammatically ambiguous terms or phrases as they occur in the document being translated.

Robertson says that the development of this system will require the assistance of at least one expert linguist and three experienced translators, preferably with some exposure to or background in machine translation theory and technology. Applicants are invited to send their resumes to NEXSYS International, Inc., Box 282, Princeton, NJ 08542.

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Bravice International, which marketed its "Bravice Pak 11/7311 Japanese-to-English translation system in June in Japan, has announced that it will begin exporting the system to the U.S., possibly as early as this autumn. During two and a half months since the new product was announced in Japan, Bravice has conducted 400 demonstrations of the system in Japan, and there have been many inquiries from overseas.

Bravice is currently training employees of Weidner Communications Corp. in use of the system. When the training is completed, the system will be demonstrated in the U.S., possibly starting in September. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, August 16, 1984)

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Professor Makoto Nagao of Kyoto University was scheduled to deliver a lecture on machine translation at the Kensetsu Koryukan in Osaka on August 25. Title of the lecture was "Current status and future perspectives of automatic translating machines." The lecture was sponsored by Inter Group, a company specializing in translation and international conferences. (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, August 20, 1984). (For more about Professor Nagao, see TJT no. 18, p. 9–11.)

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An article by Shohei Kurita entitled "The right word: Japan's auto-translator machines" appeared in the August 15, 1984 issue of Electronic Business.

The article mentions the machine translation work being done by businesses such as Bravice International, NEC Corporation and Fujitsu. It also includes mentions of the translation projects being conducted by research laboratories such as the Electronic Technology Laboratory's "Fusion System," NTT and Kyoto University.

Fujitsu's ATLAS/I and ATLAS/II are described in the article. (See our article "Fujitsu Will Market E-J, J-E Machine Translation System in August" in TJT issue no. 17, p. 2.) Kurita says that ATLAS/I "has been used for translating in-house technical reports written in short sentences from Japanese into English for transmission to foreign affiliates. The system, which was operated experimentally in the company's Kawasaki factory in 1980, has been used for real daily work in the Numazu computer and software factory since June 1982. It stores 1,500 grammatical rules, adopts syntactic direct-transfer mode, and significantly has improved productivity by its translation of software manuals for new products."

The ATLAS/II system is a two-way Japanese/English translation system. Kurita reports that "after conducting syntactic analysis, it performs semantic analysis and creates a unique semantic structure, called 'Concept Structure.' The two-way translation is done by converting this concept structure." ATLAS/II runs on a FACOM M Series computer, a very large-scale computer that is being tested mainly for translating computer manuals. Tatsuya Hayashi, head of the research department at the Fujitsu laboratory, is quoted as saying: "ATLAS/II can perform semantic analysis completely, and ATLAS/I conducts syntactic analysis semicompletely. Translating English into Japanese is easier than the reverse because English is neater in grammatical structure. But translation of Japanese into English cannot be done without conducting analyses up to the semantic level. I think it is possible for a computer to store 3,000 grammatical rules, at most. If a computer-based translation system stores more than 3,000 rules, the system will get out of control, because the rules will influence many portions of the system... In our ATLAS system, the rules are so appropriate and neatly put in order that we can revise or improve individual rules. If this were not so, the system would get out of control when areas of applications are widened. Several of our customers already are using our ATLAS/I experimentally. Its applications are not limited to translating manuals."

Thanks to Paula Doe for sending me the article from Electronic Business. Incidentally, the August 1984 issue of Language Monthly has an article by Veronica Lawson about the use of a machine translation system in Europe. The article describes the Logos system, which is available for German-English only. The article in Electronic Business by Shohei Kurita says that a 1981 EEC survey showed that "150 million pages of documents are translated annually by 175,000 translators in EEC countries. The EEC employs more than 1,800 translators to translate important documents into six languages, but it still has not been able to digest all the important ones. Consequently, in November 1982 the EEC began a five-year program for development of EUROTRA, a multilanguage translation system."

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We have been discussing the question of jobs for Japan Area Specialists (see the article on this subject by James J. Hubbert in TJT no. 18, pp. 15–17). According to the August 1984 issue of Language Monthly, a conference was held on "Communication in an international business world: an exchange of experience" on June 25 at Aston University in England. Professor Dennis Ager addressed the conference and said that "language and communication policy... should be part of the corporate plan of a business organisation." One of the working groups reported an "apparent disparity between industrialists who complained of the difficulty of finding persons qualified in other disciplines who also had language abilities, and the difficulty people who had a language skill had in finding an application for it in business and industry."

The editor has been seeing during recent months an increasing number of employment advertisements placed by American and Japanese companies who are looking for bilingual persons or language specialists. Here are some examples.

Far East Technical Support Specialist wanted by Microsoft Corporation. Requirements: ES in Computer Science, background in business or the data processing industry, and fluency in Japanese (writing and reading Japanese is preferred). Involves about 25% travel.

Japan Sales Support Specialist wanted also by Microsoft Corporation. Requirements: BA in Business Administration, 2–3 years of experience in international sales or marketing in data processing industry, and fluency in Japanese (writing and reading is preferred). Must be willing to travel.

Internal Auditor wanted by Commodore Semiconductor Systems. Qualified accountant fluent in Japanese and English. Requirements: B.S. in accounting (MBA is a plus) and at least 2–3 years internal audit experience. Some travel involved.

Language Specialist wanted by a high technology, rapidly growing company located on the peninsula [near San Francisco]. Requirements: knowledge of kanji and ability to read and interpret text materials. Education in Japanese schools preferred and must be able to communicate in English.

Marketing Director for computer software in Japan wanted by Informatics General Corporation. Very high-level position for bilingual Japanese national with good understanding of U.S. business. Requirements: excellent knowledge of data processing industry in Japan (both software and hardware).

Development Manager — Japan wanted by Computervision Corporation. Requirements: Fluency in both reading and speaking of Japanese, good English communication skills, prior development experience with a US company, and a strong technical background.

Rewriter wanted by Three "I" Publications, Ltd., Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Requirements: scientific/technical background, working knowledge of Japanese (ability to translate from J to E preferable), good English writing skills. ¥2,600/hr (minimum monthly salary ¥208,000).

Japanese language lecturer wanted by University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia. Applicants should possess native or near-native command of both J and E. Position for three years beginning Jan. 1985.

(Some of these positions may have been filled, but if you are interested in applying for any of these jobs, write to me and I'll send you the addresses to write to. — Ed.)

* * *


Ralph Pearcy of Arlington, Virginia writes to express his opinion about my arguments on this subject in no. 18 (pp. 35–37). This is what he says:

There are good arguments on both sides of the 'specialist/generalist' argument you have set going. Without precise technological understanding, it is very easy to produce nonsense without knowing it. This does not go down very well with technically sophisticated clients. On the other hand, as you point out in No. 18, p. 36, colloquialisms frequently occur even in highly technical writing, and a linguist's knowledge of Japanese is also necessary for accuracy and versatility, the latter, being commercially advantageous. But on the whole I consider that it would be better for a technical translator to build, first and foremost, a reputation for being technically reliable — of being able to write down, as Andrew Habberton says, "what the foreign text MEANS", in precise technical terms.

My final view on this subject is this: We all agree that a technical translator must know something about the specialized subject matter and also must be a good linguist. It is after this point that our opinions diverge. A "specialist" reasons, I take it, that only a person with a Ph.D. in chemistry is qualified to translate the least bit of chemical writing and is NOT qualified to touch any other subject. A "generalist" opines, more optimistically, that the human mind is capable of doing most things, and that, with good linguistic expertise in both languages and with access to good dictionaries and possibly to the resources of a university library, almost anyone can read up on a subject to the point where they can turn out an acceptable translation.

However, there is another dimension to the argument: the dollar-and-cents dimension. I would say that a generalist, on purely competitive grounds, ought to welcome "specialist" propaganda. More power to the specialists, a generalist would say. By all means, let the specialists continue to specialize in their narrow little cubbyholes. That leaves the field open for the generalists. The less competition, the better. The argument can be settled easily enough, by comparing the volume of work a generalist and a specialist take in over a period of, say, five years, and by comparing the balances in their bank accounts during that period.

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John Bester has been writing a column called "Afterthoughts" in the Mainichi Daily News in which he discusses problems of communication in Japanese and English. In the column dated June 4, 1984 he deals with some differences between Japanese and English. "Generalizing wildly," he ventures the following characterization of Japanese:

Japanese generally is less tightly knit, less complex syntactically, and makes less use of idioms than English; for comprehensibility it relies more than English on context, and on separate nouns to express separate shades of meaning. It's less wordy than English, on the other hand, and — especially in conversation — tends to strip away non-essentials to an almost perilous degree.

As a result, Japanese writing or speaking English, or non-Japanese operating in the opposite direction, must make, from moment to moment, a succession of very subtle choices for which their minds were not preprogrammed at the stage in childhood when the computer in the mind had most of its free circuits available.

In his column of July 29, Bester writes that he was asked to review an essay in English for an exhibition catalog which had been produced by a Japanese translation agency. The highest translation fee had been paid, and the translation had been "gone over by a foreigner." The translation was "quite unacceptable in a piece to be printed in an expensively produced catalog." For one thing, the past tense of the verb "to fly" was rendered as "flied." Even worse, it made the Japanese author sound "both naive and illogical." Bester draws attention to the "blindness to what, practically, can and can't be done" which affects a large part of the Japanese academic world, the magazines on English, and the "English industry" as a whole. There is a real lack of sophistication about the real difficulties involved. Those within the industry are also willing to coddle their fellows and to be coddled in return.

Bester continues:

I for one am tired of the blindness on the part of many who should know better towards the difficulties of language, and the failure to see that translation, and rewriting too, are highly demanding techniques that require knowledge, experience, and time — and also, above a certain level, considerable intelligence and sensitivity. I'm tired of people who present me with 10 closely typed pages of English that is subtly wrong in every phrase and expect me to rewrite it while they look over my shoulder. And I'm tired of translations and rewrites that make both Japanese and foreigners seem unnecessarily fatuous in each other's eyes.

One must admit the fact, he argues, that, with a few exceptions, "English written by a Japanese cannot be printed as it stands, whether it be in a pamphlet explaining how to use a camera, a company brochure, a textbook or a work of literature." The same applies, again with a few exceptions, to Japanese written by non-Japanese.

What is the ideal solution?

The ideal translation agency would employ a carefully chosen twin team of Japanese and non-Japanese. Both sides would be proven as translators by years of experience; would write in their own language a prose acceptable, at least with editing, to publishers; would ideally have long personal contact with the other side's country and people; and would be flexible and nonabrasive in their personal dealings. And both sides would be constantly engaged not only in translating but in checking each other's work.

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A recent article in the Nihon keizai shimbun (July 28, 1984) draws attention to the abundance of English loan-words which are being used in Japanese popular culture. Lyrics of some popular songs contain more English than Japanese words, and the same seems to be true in specialized writing about subjects like fashion. Most periodicals which have been started up recently have English names, and 60% of the 140 new television programs starting in the spring of 1984 had titles which contained foreign words or names of foreign persons or places.

A dictionary of foreign loan-words, Kadokawa gairaigo jiten, was first published in 1967. It contained 25,000 such words, and about half of them came into use during the post-war period. That amounts to an average of some 12 new loan-words every week. Another dictionary published one year ago, Nihongo ni natta gaikokugo jiten, contains 34,000 general items, 2,000 names of foreign persons and places, and 2,500 abbreviations, making a total of 38,500. Thus, there are nearly 40,000 new and old foreign loanwords in current use in the Japanese language. To obtain an idea of how many this is, one should remember that dictionaries of the Japanese language contain some 100,000 to 200,000 words. The Gakken kokugo daijiten, published in 1978, has 100,000 words in all, of which about 8,500 are foreign loanwords, and the third edition of Kojien, published in 1983, contains 200,000 words in all.

What subject areas have the largest number of foreign loan-words? In the dictionaries of foreign loan-words, the largest number comes from sports, followed by apparel and cooking. The 1984 edition of Gendai yogo no kiso chishiki contains 35,000 words, of which 20,000 are foreign loanwords. Of the 338 words related to apparel, only three of them are of Japanese origin.

Foreign loan-words first appear as single units, but as they spread in usage they tend to enter combinations with Chinese or Japanese formants, such as kaku-misairu, nanminkyanpu, kon-shiizun or sutoresu-shakai. Oddly abbreviated forms such as sarakin or karaoke then appear. Such words are often imperfectly represented in the dictionaries of "foreign loan-words."

Often it is difficult to distinguish between a word which is really foreign in origin and waseieigo (an "English" word made up by the Japanese). Examples might include: sarariiman, romanporuno, maihoomu, naitaa, wanpataan, gaadoman, oodameedo, beesuappu, ofisurabu, rabuhoteru, and beddotaun. The article in the Nihon keizai shimbun claims that all of these are wasei-eigo. They are widely used in general conversation.

Verb forms obtained by adding the verb suru to loan-words are also increasing rapidly. Examples are: ankeeto suru, pawaa-appu suru, esukooto suru.

Why do the Japanese like to use foreign words instead of Japanese words? Some say that it sounds more "modern" and "bright" to say karaa instead of iro or raisu instead of gohan (I take it that meshi would sound dark and prehistoric). This is why loan-words are so often used in names of products and in advertising. Foreign technical terminology is often used because there is no time to think up translated equivalents. Some advocate limiting the use of foreign loan-words, but others point to the phenomenon as evidence of the vitality of the Japanese language as it avidly absorbs foreign linguistic culture, concludes the article.

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The Sanwa Ginko has been hiring women in the capacity of "money consultants" and has even developed a new wasei eigo to describe their position: manekon redii. Here is an article describing this new career which I found in the August 16, 1984 issue of the Nihon keizai shimbun (I am printing it sideways to save space.)

[Scanned Image No. 1]

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by Shūji Umano. Diamond Sha, 1984. 222 p.

by Donald L. Philippi

Book reviews in TJT thus far have dealt with critical books written by foreigners about Japan such as Roy A. Miller's opus and Marvin J. Wolf's The Japanese conspiracy. This time, venturing to the opposite extreme, I am reviewing a book by a Japanese ideologue who is inclined towards a conspiratorial view of America and, in fact, argues that the collapse of America is a historical necessity.

Shūji Umano, born in 1921, is a graduate of Keio University and served as a MITI official from 1949 to 1961. After 1961 he taught chemical engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York, has written widely about chemical subjects, and has headed research projects under the U.S. Department of the Interior. He holds a degree of Doctor of Engineering. Before writing this book, he wrote nine other popular books including some with titles like "The decline of America," "The greater Japanese technological empire," "The master strategy of the American empire," "Can America be trusted?" and "The final war between Japan and America." Judging from his book titles alone, one can conclude that Dr. Umano is probably the most anti-American of all Japanese popular writers. However, he is no armchair expert on America; his knowledge of the U.S. was obtained at first hand. He is not a crackpot, and his writing is studded with ideas which are both controversial and striking. I am not sure how influential his ideas are in Japan, but his books are published by prominent publishers such as Diamond Sha, Kappa Books, Tokuma Shoten, and PHP. I decided to read and review this, his most recent book, because I thought that his ideas, apart from their inherent interest, may represent a powerful undercurrent in contemporary Japanese thinking about the world.

The book's title, meaning "Laws of Technological Civilization," reflects Dr. Umano's idea that the forces changing the world today are basically technological, not military or political. In fact, Dr. Umano dismisses military rivalries as essentially obsolete. The tumultuous military confrontations between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. have no essential meaning as far as the "logic of history" is concerned. Military and political forces can be reduced fundamentally to economic forces, and economics are based on technology. The world moves in whatever direction is dictated by technology, and the power of technology to change the world will become increasingly strong in the future. The world's geopolitical axes will converge more and more at the location where the new technology reigns. That center of convergence is, of course, Japan.

As the advance of technology changes the world, Europe continues to sink, the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe become more and more backward, and the position of the debt-ridden Third World becomes increasingly desperate. On the other hand, Japanese society remains tranquil because it has the social structure which best matches the flow of technological innovations. American society is being hit with great force by the wave of technological innovation and is beginning to show signs of an imminent upheaval.

Interestingly, Dr. Umano defines civilization as the ability to generate and collect information. When a society's ability to generate and circulate new information declines, or when there are distortions in the process of generating and circulating information, its civilization declines in the same way that a living organism declines when its nervous system ages. In view of Japan's massive dependence on overseas-generated information, one might possibly think that Japanese society, however information-hungry it is, is not particularly successful at generating its own information. However, Dr. Umano thinks that Japanese society is, on the contrary, advantageously situated in today's conjunction of world forces largely because Japan has the ideal conditions for "informationalization" (joohooka), i.e., the establishment of the post-industrial "information society." Japan's society is homogeneous, with the people receiving a uniform education and having uniform living patterns. The homogeneity and insularity of the Japanese people have started to work to their advantage. The driving power of today's Japanese society is the wisdom and skill of the common people. The bureaucrats and scholars are nothing but froth on the surface; their role, says Dr. Umano scornfully, has always been merely to stand in the way of the people's creative powers.

What about American society? It is a seething pot full of abrasive social forces, and there is great resistance to horizontal flow of information. Information tends to flow only from the top down. Moreover, in American society, information tends to be distorted en route. Not only that. One-third of the American people are virtually illiterate and are therefore outside the reach of any kind of information from the start. America is a militarized state, there is a core of information which is kept secret, and specialists residing within this secret core are isolated from the public, non-governmental information society. It is as if a "black box" were situated in the midst of American society. The Soviet Union also has a similar "black box" from which the Soviet people are excluded even more effectively, and the underprivileged population in the U.S.S.R. consists of Moslems. Each in its own way, the U.S. and the Soviet Union are "anti-information" societies.

Dr. Umano regards Japan as the winner and the U.S.S.R., Western Europe, and America as the losers. The Third World has no chance whatever. However, the newly industrializing countries (NICs) of Asia such as South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore also share many of the characteristics of Japan, and Dr. Umano speaks positively of the phenomena discussed by Hofheinz and Calder in their book The Eastasia Edge (Basic Books, 1982). Thankfully, not all regions of the United States need share in the decline of the Western world. Dr. Umano speaks of the increasing prominence of California and predicts the blossoming of the world's newest and greatest civilization along an axis leading across the Pacific from Los Angeles through Tokyo to Singapore. This will result in a merging of Eastern and Western civilizations for the first time in world history. The prospect is not at all unpleasing to Californians, although in order to take full advantage of the Eastasian edge, one supposes California would have to secede from the United States and join the newly reborn G.E.A. C.P. Sphere.

Dr. Umano brings out his heaviest artillery when he gets around to dissecting the American sickness. The familiar tales of woe are dwelt on in detail: the progressive deterioration of the fundamentals of the American economy, the alarming budgetary and trade deficits, the fallacies of Reaganomics, the heavy unemployment, the militarization of the economy, the dangers of a bank crisis, President Reagan's strident anti-Soviet propaganda and his propensity for indulging in dangerous military adventures, the danger of another world-wide depression, and so forth. At one point, Dr. Umano quotes Averell Harriman's denunciation of the Reagan administration (from the January 2, 1984 issue of the New York Times evidently). The jeremiads all sound depressingly familiar to Americans. We have been hearing almost the same tales of woe at the Democratic National Convention recently. However, the Democrats would not agree with all of Dr. Umano's denunciations. According to him, Japan and America are "arch enemies" (shukuteki). Viewed from Japan, American society looks like a "loose society" in which deceit and arrogance are rampant. Americans instinctively have a servile respect towards Europe because they are descendants of the lower social classes of Europe (I think he means "the tired and huddled masses"), but they have an arrogant sense of racial superiority towards the Japanese and also towards the Russians, whom they consider to be "Orientals." The American ruling classes cannot believe that Japan or the U.S.S.R. could possibly be America's equals. Historically, America has consistently attempted to suppress Japan and has a whole history of provocative behavior towards it ever since the Washington Conference of 1921–22. It would be difficult, Dr. Umano says, to expect anything very noble in the character of a country which consists of an agglomeration of the world's lowest classes (p. 164).

According to Dr. Umano, the "Soviet menace" is a myth fostered by America. Soviet military power in the Far East, he says, is a "paper tiger," and there is no danger at all to Japan from the U.S.S.R. The U.S. is trying to stir up enmity between Japan and the U.S.S.R., to frighten Japan with a non-existent Soviet menace, but the U.S.S.R. cannot possibly attack Japan without the approval of both China and the U.S. Incidentally, he has very incisive remarks about the Korean airliner incident (obviously an American plot, he says) and about Mr. Levchenko's revelations (engineered by America with the aim of alienating Japan from the U.S.S.R.). The biggest, in fact the only danger for Japan will occur, he predicts, during the latter half of the 1980's when Japan takes over the world's markets from the U.S. and the Americans finally realize that their true enemy is Japan, rather than the U.S.S.R. When that happens, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, former allies which both belong to the same civilization, will realize that they need each other. The danger for Japan is a "second Yalta conference," i.e., a secret agreement between the two natural allies (America and the Soviet Union) aimed at Japan. There is a real danger that the U.S. at some point in the future may launch a military provocation which will expose Japan to attack by Soviet missiles. Dr. Umano advocates a basic revision of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty and the removal of all American military bases from Japan.

Without going into the details of Dr. Umano's analysis of the Middle East situation, I must mention that he predicts that the next world crisis will be in the Middle East. America will get itself embroiled in another military morass there, he says. This will probably not harm Japan militarily. It could, in fact, be of great economic advantage to Japan as a supplier of various products which America can no longer produce itself. Japan's coffers will fill up while America bankrupts itself with a second (and a third, a fourth, and so on) Vietnam.

About the energy situation, he vehemently denounces atomic energy as a diabolical swindle perpetrated by America ("nuclear power is the cancer of technological civilization"). The energy of the future replacing petroleum and natural gas will be something produced by biotechnology, but in the meantime he advocates importing natural gas (from Siberia, of course).

At one point in his analysis of nuclear energy, Dr. Umano begins to sound like a religious prophet. He says that the Western world is based on a ruthless world-view of dualistic antagonism (god-devil, enemy-ally, communism-capitalism) which is antithetical to the Eastern religions, which emphasize harmony and reconciliation. Marxism and nuclear weapons are both products of the same bellicose Judeo-Christian world-view. Nuclear bombs were devised by German emigrees and Jews. When dropping them on Japan, the Americans expected the Japanese to turn into vengeful demons, who could then be annihilated without any compunction, but the results were entirely different. The Oriental spirit of harmony and reconciliation prevailed instead, and Japan wisely renounced militarism and embarked on a process of building a modern Eastern civilization which is now the marvel of the world. By committing their atrocity of dropping the atomic bomb and unleashing nuclear energy, he says, the Americans merely sealed their own doom. He does not tell us whether there is any room for them to avert their fate by repentance and good works, but one supposes that there is not. (Historical inevitability is, after all, so inevitable.)

Dr. Umano's pacifism has a uniquely Japanese accent. After the advent of nuclear weapons, he says, military confrontations are a dead end. The obsolete way of military confrontation inevitably leads to social, economic and technological stagnation of the militarized powers. The current militaristic rivalry between America and the U.S.S.R. weakens both and assures the collapse of both countries, in fact leads inevitably to the decline of the entire West. By dropping the bomb on Japan, America literally dug its own grave. As a result, Japan (the East) emerged on the stage of world history as a force which will "bury" the West.

Dr. Umano's view of history has a classical ring: Ogoru mono hisashikarazu. America is essentially an arrogant society. Japan is superior to America in human wisdom and it is only natural that Japan should win out over America. How will Japan win?

Since technology leads the way, Japan's edge over America in science and technology is obvious when one considers that Japan produces more university graduates in these fields than the U.S., and that 70% of America's brainpower is devoted to military research. Microelectronics is uniquely suited for the Japanese genius, and very soon the technology for manufacturing highly advanced microchips will be dominated completely by Japan. Japan will also take over the final bastion of software within a few years. What about IBM? It has won the first skirmishes but it is on the verge of the precipice. For one thing, IBM Japan is a Japanese company staffed almost completely by Japanese. After the brutal treatment which IBM gave Japan in the IBM-Hitachi incident, it is unimaginable that any Japanese university graduates of superior quality would ever want to work for IBM Japan. IBM has mixed its own poison. Besides, IBM's current systems are antiquated creations made by von Neumann (Dr. Umano points out that von Neumann, too, was a Jewish mathematician who fled to the U.S. from Hungary) during the vacuum-tube period. They no longer match today's advanced microchip technologies. Will the new software originate in America? Can America possibly produce a second von Neumann? Hardly. The new computer systems are sure to originate in Japan, where the Fifth Generation Project will be coupled with Japan's superior hardware expertise.

Dr. Umano's conclusion is that the shift in the economic and technological geopolitical axis from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from America to Japan is a historical necessity. The driving power of contemporary civilization is economics, and science and technology is the basis of today's world economy. Politics and military affairs are merely subsystems of economics. The coming conflict between Japan and America will naturally be an economic rather than military or political conflict, will occur when Japan surpasses America, and will center around technology. Japanese technology, along with Japanese business and capital, will flood into a debilitated America.

I must admit that I am impressed by Dr. Umano's obvious originality and erudition and, certainly, thankful for his frankness. He definitely does not beat around the bush. Except for some out-and-out chauvinists like Sadahiko Tamura, who can hardly be taken seriously, few Japanese have expressed their misgivings about America so frankly or enunciated their sense of Japan's superiority so openly. Reading between the lines of Japanese newspapers, I do frequently notice the same attitude — a sort of smugness about foreigners and their uncouthness. Japan has a long history of xenophobia, and smugness is excusable enough, but in Dr. Umano we have a Japanese who gleefully looks forward to the inevitable downfall of Western civilization. If he is right, there are rough times ahead for all of us.

How can we characterize Dr. Umano? Is he a leftist or a rightist? I think he is basically a well-informed Japanese nationalist of the senchūha type with few illusions who profoundly distrusts and dislikes America and has no fear whatever of the U.S.S.R. His views of Japan's future greatness are breath-taking and even somewhat inspiring at times. There seem to be religious overtones in his writing, and I am sometimes reminded of the Shintoist prophecies which hold that Japan is a "miniature" (hinagata) of the entire world. Dr. Umano is not stating his case on the gutter level. We can be sure that he is no crackpot, and it would obviously be inappropriate to react to his ideas emotionally, however unpleasant are their implications for our entire civilization. I would not be surprised to find many Americans agreeing with some of the elements in his analysis if they were presented somewhat less gloatingly.

I am certainly not qualified to venture a judgment about questions like the downfall of the West, but I can say that, from what we now know about the American response — or lack of it — to Japanese science and technology, many translators will probably be inclined to agree with Dr. Umano's denunciations of American arrogance. This newsletter has devoted many pages to accounts indicating the folly of Americans who refuse to believe even in the possibility that the Japanese can compete with America in science and technology and therefore are not even interested in making use of Japanese information in those fields. The current hullabaloo about Japanese science and technology in the U.S. is merely a belated admission of what has been obvious to us translators for some time. Pride goes before the fall, and all that.

I am quite sure that many Japanese will profoundly disagree with his evaluation of the economic and technological capabilities of the U.S. However, Dr. Umano's analysis of American society contains much that will interest thoughtful Americans. I even have half a mind to go along part of the way with Dr. Umano's arguments. Why should we not consider seriously the possibility that Dr. Umano is right after all in thinking that the Americans, a nation of low-class European cast-offs, are so blinded by their racial arrogance and (currently) their fear of the Soviet menace that they are unable to recognize that Japan is after all their "arch enemy," at least in the all-important field of technology? We translators have evidence indicating that this is at least partially true.

Since his views are largely on the prophetic plane, we can only wait and see (keeping our fingers crossed) if the prophecies come true. Only time will tell, but if this book is any indication, there may be rough going ahead.

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With the increasing size of the market for personal computers, Japanese newspapers are focusing more and more attention on problems about computer manuals.

A recent series of articles in the Nikkei sangyō shimbun (August 13–15, 1984) goes into these problems in considerable detail. Users in Japan often say that they are frustrated with the manuals which come with their personal computers. Some of them claim that specialized knowledge is necessary simply in order to read the manual before they can make their personal computers work. Some claim that since many manuals are for use with software of foreign origin, they contain numerous translation errors. One of the reasons for the popularity of Apple computers in Japan is the comprehensibility of its manuals.

Japanese computer manufacturers reply that, in order to meet all the demands of their users, they would have to supply three sets of manuals, including one for hobbyists and another for complete beginners. Many manufacturers are unable to meet the criticisms internally and have been entrusting manual writing to outside companies specializing in computer documentation. (See the article about this on pp. 19–21 in TJT no. 18.) Another tendency is for manufacturers to await the advent of a time when manuals will not be necessary. Manuals could be restricted to explaining the minimum essentials, such as how to turn on the power switch. The rest could be explained by means of tutorials on floppy disks, thus eliminating much of the need for printed manuals.

In spring of 1984, a translation company called Asahi Shōkai (Kure Bldg. 7F, Nishi-Shinbashi 2-11-5, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105) began to offer manual-writing services. Atras Japan Corp. also plans to triple its staff of technical writers to a total of 30 by the end of 1984. ASCII Microsoft also says that the number of orders it receives for writing computer manuals is increasing sharply. Mr. Inoue, president of Atras, says: "Because of the increasing demands for personal computers in the future, contracts to manual-writing companies, will continue to increase. Victory will be determined by how many technical writers such companies can employ. Technical writers must be professionals, combining specialized knowledge with writing ability." (Nikkei sangyō shimbun, August 14, 1984)

The newspaper says that Americans are keenly aware of the importance of personal computer manuals. If a product does not come with a good manual, its sales will suffer. In nearly all cases, American manuals are written by technical writers who have writing ability as well as technical knowledge. For instance, Hewlett-Packard has a staff of five technical writers, and every computer manual is rewritten tens of times by all five writers before it is completed.

The situation is far different in Japan, where a specialist working in the manufacturer's company is expected to write the manuals in his free moments while he is developing the technologies. Manuals are seldom rewritten, and the first manuscript, exactly as is is hurried written by a specialist, is usually what is used as the final manual. This is one reason why so few Japanese manufacturers have succeeded in exporting their computers except on an OEM basis. Now that many Japanese manufacturers are exporting their personal computers to the U.S., the quality of the manuals will affect Japan's exports. Japanese lack of awareness of the importance of English-language documentation may possibly become Japan's biggest handicap in international competition.

This year, Japanese manufacturers have embarked again on an attempt to export their computers to the U.S. market. NEC, for example, is aiming at exporting its 16-bit personal computers. In the past, poor-quality Japanese-language manuals were sent out to translators for translation, and the resulting manuals were criticized for their poor quality by overseas customers. This time around, NEC plans to use overseas software houses and also to send sample products from Japan and have the manuals written overseas by American technical writers.

Other Japanese manufacturers are intending to use English manual-writing companies located in Japan for their manuals for export products.

The newspaper says that American technical writers learn something called "industrial English" (kōgyō eigo) something which has a 300-year tradition as the English used in technical documents. Manuals are written in this type of English, and naturally users find them convenient to read.

However, there is no such standardized technical Japanese, and there are also no Japanese technical writers. Japanese manuals suffer as a result. Attempts are being made to standardize Japanese technical vocabularies, but the efforts are hampered by the desire of each manufacturer to create his own vocabulary.

Mr. Sakae Okaji (see TJT no. 16, p. 36), president of Nihon Jidoo Honyaku Kenkyuusho, advocates standardization of technical Japanese and is trying to create an "industrial Japanese" corresponding to "industrial English." If Japanese manuals were written in a standardized industrial Japanese, he argues, it would be simple to translate them into industrial English and this would increase exports of Japanese products.

The Japan Electronic Industry Development Association is now making a study of the manuals for personal computers made by Japanese manufacturers. It will finish its analysis of the situation by this autumn and wants to make some proposals at that time. It is studying, not only the vocabulary, but also the writing style.

It is obvious that the question of computer manuals is one of fundamental importance for Japan's economy. It also touches the most basic concerns which affect us J-E translators daily. The Japanese are quite right to be awakening to the importance of this question. Let us hope that something can be done to improve the situation, with or without the assistance of translators.

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I just couldn't resist an article I saw in the August 23, 1984 issue of the Nikkei sangyō shimbun which points to a novel way of rehabilitating prisoners by teaching them how to do software work.

The idea originates with a Tokyo-based software company called Dai-Nippon Computer System. Working in collaboration with the Correction Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, the company has established "software factories" in three prisons (Tsukigata in Hokkaido, Niigata and Shizuoka), is now starting a fourth one in the prison at Fukuoka, and plans to start even more.

The new software workshop at the Fukuoka prison will occupy 230 square meters and will be equipped with about 20 sets of digitizers to be used in creating databases. The prisoners will create databases of map information. The first job will be to create an immense database of information about residential areas in the 23 Tokyo wards. This database will contain information occupying 7,600 screen displays and will take considerable time and labor to complete.

The Ministry of Justice says that it wants to rehabilitate prisoners by educating them in high technology fields so that they can get jobs after they are released.

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The kana-kanji conversion system seems to be the most popular inputting system for Japanese word processors, especially those intended for use by laymen. However, the full-keyboard ("pen-touch") system is still favored by specialist operators and promises to offer a higher efficiency. Full keyboards are large touch-sensitive tablets which contain over 2,000 characters; sections are devoted to both kana sets, the English alphabet, and kanji arranged phonetically. A character is accessed by pressing the tablet with a stylus. Auxiliary fonts (gaijiban) containing less frequently used kanji can also be accessed.

The problem with such keyboards in the past has been that they were not standardized, with each manufacturer using a different system. Now a committee has established a JIS standard (JIS c6235-1984) for Japanese keyboards after five years of work. Sadahiko Watanabe of the Electrotechnical Laboratory (Agency of Industrial Science and Technology), head of the specialists' committee which actually formulated the standards, describes the new standard keyboard in the September 1984 issue of Trigger.

The work of the specialists' committee was to make a survey of the frequency of kanji use for the purpose of deciding which kanjj to include in the keyboard. It also carried out input experiments to find out what type of keyboard is most convenient to use. The result was the keyboard in JIS c6235. The standard keyboard differs in some important ways from the pentouch keyboards used in word processors of the past.

First of all, the keyboard is somewhat smaller than the keyboards of the past. It contains 2,160 characters arranged in 36 rows of 60 characters each. In wabun typewriters, the usual arrangement is 35 rows with 70 characters (or 2,450 characters, not counting the gaiji-ban) The committee reasoned that this keyboard would be able to cover more than 90% of all the kanji used in ordinary publications. It also reasoned that this standard could be applied to existing keyboards, allowing non-standard kanji to be assigned to the unused sections on the sides. It also thought that the adoption of a 60x36 arrangement would match the 12-shift type keyboards which are also in used in some applications.

The total number of kanji on the standard keyboard is 1,879. They are arranged into three sections: 780 most commonly used kanji; 1,080 less commonly used kanji; and 19 numerical kanji. Thus, 104 kanji listed in the toyo kanji list are excluded from this keyboard, and 38 unlisted kanji are included. These 38 kanji are frequently used in personal and place names. There are altogether 161 kana characters (81 katakana and 80 hiragana), 62 alphanumerical characters (52 alphabetic and 10 numeric characters), and 58 other characters (punctuation marks, scientific symbols, etc.).

The 780 most commonly used kanji are arranged in two sections near the center (540 + 240 characters), and the 1,080 less commonly used kanji are arranged in two sections (540 + 540) on both sides. The 300 non-kanji characters are also centrally located. (See drawing below. The full keyboard is shown on the next page.)

This segregated arrangement was adopted for the kanji because it was felt that the most common kanji included more than 90% of the kanji which are used in ordinary text, and these common kanji and the non-kanji together account for more than 95% of all inputting work. The increased inputting speed obtained by using this keyboard is more apparent in beginners than in skilled operators. Thus, the purpose of the keyboard was to improve the speed of beginners. (Trigger, September 1984, pp. 43–45)

[Scanned Image No. 2]

[Scanned Image No. 3]

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Some readers have written to say that they liked the articles I wrote in past issues about Japanese grammar ("Translating Tenses of Japanese Verbs" in no. 17 and "Ima Hitotsu — Not Quite" in no. 18). Ralph Pearcy asks for a regular "language seminar" feature in the newsletter. I can't promise anything regular, but this time I would like to deal with type of expression which I find frequently in both colloquial and technical Japanese writing. I don't know exactly what to call it, but it appears in two variants. In one, the sentences contain the particle hodo and end in a negative verb (variant A). Another variant of this usage, which I will call variant B, has sentences ending in a positive verb. The question is: Can these sentences be translated into English in any one way, or does each sentence have to be restructured differently in English?

Examples below in romaji are taken from Samuel E. Martin's A reference grammar of Japanese (Yale University Press, 1975), pages 112–113. I preserve Martin's spelling but omit his accentuation symbols. Examples in Japanese script are from my own reading.

Let me begin by giving examples of variant A, which has sentences ending in negative verbs.

  1. Senden ni wa razio hodo yasui mono wa nai.
  2. Yoku iu koto o kiku ko hodo kawaii mono wa nai.
  3. はやりさえすれば医者ほどもうかるよい商売はない。
  4. 軍事支出の負担が多い国ほど世界の産業市場で競争力がない。

Martin supplies the following translations for the first two sentences:

  1. "For advertising there is nothing so cheap as radio."
  2. "There's nothing so adorable as an obedient child."

If we follow this pattern, we would have to translate the other two sentences as follows:

  1. "There is no business so lucrative as a doctor's, if the doctor is popular." This is, by the way, an explanation which I found in a Japanese book of proverbs. The proverb in its original form is: 流行すれば医者
  2. "There is no country with so weak a competitive power in the world industrial marketplace as one burdened with large military expenditures."

However, the latter translation sounds awkward, and there must be a better way of rephrasing the same idea. One possibility might be: "The larger the military expenditures a country is burdened with, the less competitive power it has in the world industrial marketplace." Another might be: "Countries with larger burdens of military expenditures tend to have less competitive power in the world industrial marketplace."

This kind of sentence, expressing a numerical ratio between two factors, is frequently found in technical writing. "The higher is A, the lower is B." What sentence (4) is trying to express is a numerical correlation between the size of a country's military expenditures on the one hand and its competitive power in the market on the other. Thus, a country with a 1% burden of military expenditures will have, let us say, a competitive power of 90. A country with a 10% burden of military expenditures will have a proportionally weaker competitive power, perhaps a 60 or 70. Countries with 20% burdens of military expenditures will have even less competitive power, possibly 40 or 50.

Next let us look at some examples of variant B. These were all taken from Martin's book.

  1. Dokusyo no suki na kodomo hodo sakubun ga umai.
  2. Warui yatu hodo yoku nemuru.
  3. Takai heya hodo hayaku fusagattyau n desu.
  4. Hen na yume hodo masayume ni naru.
  5. Suekko hodo kawaii mono da.

Here, the relationships seem to be reversed. The more we have of A, the more we also have of B. Here are Martin's translations of these sentences:

  1. "The more the child enjoys reading the better he is at composition."
  2. "The worst rascals sleep the soundest." (As we all recall, this was the name of a Japanese movie, but I can't remember the English title it was given when shown in the U.S.)
  3. "The more expensive the rooms [in the hotel] the sooner they are filled."
  4. "The strangest dreams come true."
  5. "The younger the child, the dearer it is to you."

All of these translations, except for (8), express the quantitative correlations very nicely, using comparative expressions for both sides of the equation. ("The more... the better," etc.) The translation of (8) does not quite ring true because it seems to mean that the only dreams which ever come true are the strangest ones. The original Japanese sentences seems to be talking about a scale for rating the possibility that dreams will come true. If dreams were rated on a scale of 10 according to their order of strangeness, dreams with a strangeness of 10 would be very likely to come true. Dreams with a rating of 8 or 9 would also have a high likelihood of coming true, but dreams with progressively lower ratings would have ever decreasing probabilities of coming true.

Tentatively summing up the above, we can conclude that there are two patterns in the English translations of these sentences. One is the pattern which begins with "There is nothing so..." This type of sentence expresses an ultimate (the most) beyond which there is nothing. There's nothing so adorable as an obedient child. No child could be more adorable than an obedient one. This pattern presents few problems in translation.

I find it difficult to translate into English the other pattern, the comparative pattern ("the more ...the better"). This type of sentence expresses a numerical correlation between two variables: when one increases, the other one decreases (or increases) proportionally. When one side of the scale tips in one direction, the other side also varies correspondingly. The translation, I think, ought to show clearly the idea that there is a proportional relationship. Countries which have heavier burdens of military expenditures are proportionally weaker in their international competitive power. The greater the burden, the weaker is the competitive power. Children who enjoy reading more also tend to be better at composition. The greater is the child's enjoyment of reading, the better is its skill at composition. The meaning of the movie's title ("The worst rascals sleep the soundest") could be explained analogously. The worse the rascal, the better does he sleep. That is, there is an inverse relationship between soundness of a person's sleep and the person's moral qualities. The lower a rascal sinks on a scale of morality, the more soundly does he sleep. Am I right in assuming that English uses expressions of this type less frequently than Japanese?

There may be a way of reversing these sentences in English and putting the cart before the horse. For example:

A country will tend to be proportionally weaker in its international competitive power when its burdens of military expenditures are heavier. Or: As a rule, countries are weaker in their international competitive power if they have heavier burdens of military expenditure.

The children who are better at composition tend to be those who most enjoy reading. Or: A child will be proportionally better at composition the more it enjoys reading.

The soundest sleep is that belonging to the worst rascals. Or perhaps even: The better a person sleeps, the worse a rascal he is.

Readers' comments are welcome. (Does anyone remember the English title of the movie Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru?)

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By Derek P. Freyberg

In Nichibei sentan tokkyo sensō ("The Japanese-American High Technology Patent War") (reviewed in TJT no. 18), author Masayoshi Miyazaki devotes some 30 pages to a discussion of controls on technology transfer, mostly under the intriguing heading of "The Dilemma of Japan: the Country Without a Secret Patent System." Is there a "secret patent"? At the least, that seems to be a contradiction in terms.

Well, yes, Virginia, there are secret patents, but not in Japan, nor yet in the U.S.

Prior to the end of World War II, Japan did have a secret patent system, according to Miyazaki. According to the rather sketchy description in the book, the system appears to be like most modern systems. It regulated patent applications filed on "military secrets" and militarily useful devices, transferring the rights to the government and controlling dissemination of their contents. During the time the system was in effect, some 1600 secret patents were issued: the largest number from industry being from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries with 114 cases. The majority, of course, were from the armed forces (583 from the Navy; 355 from the Army). The occupation ended the system with a revision to the Patent Law in 1948, and published the patents in two groups, in 1948 and 1956.

Since then, Japan has had no secret patent system. Under the Patent Law, all applications are printed (Kōkai) about 18 months after first filing in Japan or in a foreign country, if the Japanese application claims a Convention priority (see the article entitled "Patent Priority Rights in Japan: JPO Proposes Revisions" for a brief discussion of Convention filings).

Thus, anyone applying for a patent in Japan lets the world know of his invention. There is also no control on filing patent applications outside Japan.

What about other countries? Germany, like Japan, has an early publication scheme (the Offenlegungsschrift is the equivalent of the Kokai), as do most European countries. But Germany also has secret patents, and technology transfer controls in the Patent Law, designed to prevent dissemination of potentially militarily useful inventions. The German Patent Office, with the co-operation of defense agencies, reviews patent applications after they are filed, and has the ability to declare the contents secret. The application is not published, and, though a patent may be granted (if the subject matter is otherwise patentable), the resulting patent is kept secret and registered on a secret register. Applicants may also be forbidden to file foreign applications corresponding to the German application. Other European countries have similar laws.

The U.S. does not have a secret patent system, as I wrote earlier, but has technology transfer controls in its Patent Law and other laws (e.g. the Atomic Energy Act). First, a U.S. patent application is, by law, secret until the patent issues. (Though this provision does not, of itself, prevent a patent application disclosing the invention to others, it does prevent the Patent and Trademark Office from doing so.) Second, all patent applications are reviewed for sensitive information in the PTO by a special examining group, Group 220, known as the Security Group. If an application is found to describe sensitive subject matter (and the PTO allows defense agencies including FBI, DOE, NSA, etc. to review the application if desired, under appropriate restraints) a secret order may be issued. The effect of the order is threefold: (1) it prohibits filing of corresponding foreign applications, (2) it prohibits disclosure of the invention or application to unauthorized persons, and (3) it blocks issuance of a patent. Though the subject matter may be determined to be patentable, and the applicant is entitled to prosecute his application in the usual way (with the Examiner being security cleared), no patent is allowed to issue until the secrecy order is lifted. Once it is lifted, the patent may issue in the usual way. [Note, however, that you cannot patent a new A-bomb. Although it, like any other weapon, is a "manufacture" and thus apparently suitable subject matter for patenting, Section 151 of the Atomic Energy Act bars the patenting of atomic weapons.]

More significant than the temporary bar on issuance of a patent is the bar to foreign filing which a secrecy order imposes. This delays the filing of a secrecy order application until the order is lifted, i.e. until it is no longer regarded as secret. Thus, a foreign applicant may be able to apply for a patent on a later invention overseas. For technologies having both nonmilitary and military application (e.g. VLSI, cryptography) this loss could be significant.

A U.S. applicant cannot avoid the review procedure by first filing abroad (unless he obtains a foreign filing license, which requires a security review). To do so bars the issuance of a U.S. patent, as does violation of a secrecy order (which also carries criminal penalties).

Even if patent applications are not involved, transfer of sensitive technology overseas may still require a license under State or Commerce Department regulations.

Miyazaki appears to think the lack of a secret patent system is a handicap to the development and exchange of Japanese high technology. I do not agree. What may inhibit Japanese access to sensitive technology is more likely to be lack of an adequate system of laws and regulations on defense secrets, limiting the ability of a transferor to ensure that the technology will not leak to unfriendly countries; and a secret patent system will not solve that problem. Openness, in general, seems to me to be more likely to be productive of invention than secrecy.

[Derek Freyberg, an associate editor for this issue, is a patent attorney who has worked as a J-E translator in the past. He lives in Menlo Park, California. — Ed.]

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by Derek P. Freyberg

The Japanese Patent Office, at the request particularly of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, has proposed the adoption of a revision to the Patent Law to allow domestic priority claims.

Japan, as a member of the Paris Convention, has for many years allowed applicants who file their Japanese application within one year of the first filing in a Convention country to claim priority from that first application. That is, even if a third-party application were filed in Japan before the Japanese filing, if it were filed after the first (foreign) filing, the later-filed Japanese application would not be barred by the earlier third-party one. In "lawyer language," we say that the third-party application is not available as a reference against the application claiming Convention priority.

Commonly, foreign applicants who file Convention cases make use of the one year period between the first filing date and the deadline for Convention filing by incorporating in the Convention application any improvements that have been made during the year. If those improvements have been the subject of patent applications in a Convention country, priority may be claimed from them also. This is known, for obvious reasons, as "multiple priorities." Priorities may also be "split" — not all the subject matter of the foreign application(s) need be claimed in the Convention application.

Many foreign countries have patent systems which permit domestic equivalents of this Convention priority scheme. In Britain, a "provisional and complete" specification system was available, in which a sketchy provisional application, which need not even contain claims, could be followed within one year by a complete specification, which was examined in the usual way. That system, which still exists in some Commonwealth countries, was replaced when Britain joined the European Patent Convention and revised its patent laws in 1977. Now, along with Germany, Holland, and most of Northern Europe, Britain has a "domestic priority" scheme which is analogous to Convention priority.

The United States is different. Here, unlike almost all other countries, applications are considered on the basis of inventorship, not ownership. Thus, a domestic priority scheme would not be feasible, for commonly-owned applications to different inventors cannot be combined in the U.S., though U. S. companies can combine applications for filing in other countries such as Japan. However, the U.S. has a system of "continuation-in-part" applications, where the inventors of an improvement on an invention for which they have already filed an application may claim priority in an application on the improvement. This priority claim is not limited to a one-year period, unlike Convention priority.

Japan, however, lacks a domestic priority system. Each application must stand by itself, and the only amelioration of this problem is that unpublished commonly-owned applications are not available as references. In effect, then, a later Japanese application on an improvement need not be patentable over a commonly-owned, less than 18-month old, application; but must be patentable over applications of others. This is almost certainly a substantial factor in the huge number of patent applications which are filed each year in Japan: the "one invention - one application" rule carried to its extreme. Thus, the system is clogged by improvement applications, few of which can be abandoned unexamined if patent protection is not to be lost by their owners.

What is more, especially in the chemical and pharmaceutical fields, the "first-to-file" rule (priority goes to the first applicant and not to the first inventor) means that an application must often be filed before it is well understood, and later experimentation is required to determine the full scope of the invention. Some Japanese companies have even gone so far as to make their first filing in a foreign country, typically the U.S., Britain, or West Germany, and continue research, followed by making a Convention filing in Japan at the end of the year, incorporating the additional knowledge.

The JPO has until last year resisted any change, claiming "if a domestic priority were recognized, examination would become more complicated" and "it would be a handicap to other applicants." However, it has now submitted to the Industrial Property Council a proposal to amend the Patent Law and permit domestic priority claims. Further action is expected some time this year.

[Original article in Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, September 9, 1983, later article in Patents and Licensing, June, 1984.]

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By Preston K. Maxwell

Ryakuji (abbreviated characters) are not an explicit part of the Kokugo kyoiku curriculum and thus tend to be neglected when teaching Japanese to foreigners, on the theory that only "correct" Japanese should be taught. However, ryakuji are a fact of life for anyone who deals with handwritten Japanese. TJT could be an excellent vehicle for compiling a list of the most frequently encountered ryakuji. For a start, here's the last page of Fel'dman-Konrad's Yaponsko-russkii uchebnyi slovar' ieroglifov (Moscow '77), plus a few personal additions.

[Scanned Image No. 4]

Reading Japanese handwriting also presents the problem of recognizing kanji written in cursive style, which may involve altered stroke order and deletions. Yale publishes an introduction to Chinese handwriting (which is different from Japanese) but as far as I know The Art of Reading Japanese Handwriting has yet to appear. Until it does, Kuzushiji kaidoku jiten (Kondo Shuppansha, Tokyo; ¥2000) or the like may be marginally useful; some kanji appear in 8 forms, ranging from block script to ultracursive.

I have reservations about recommending Kuzushiji kaidoku jiten; its usefulness is probably too limited for readers of modern handwritten texts. Still, there must be a better way to learn cursive script than working in an office and asking questions. Must be rough for people with a background of printed texts and teachers with neat handwritinc it they want to work on their own. Quite an important economic factor.

* * *

BOOK REVIEW — by John Bukacek

Edward E. Daub, R. Byron Bird, Nobuo Inoue. COMPREHENDING TECHNICAL JAPANESE. The University of Wisconsin Press and the University of Tokyo Press, 1975, 437 pp. $32.50

The primary purpose of this text, in the words of the authors, is "to provide the means for courageous scientists or engineers to learn to read technical Japanese by hard work." The authors suggest that several other groups of people may also find their book helpful: Japanese language majors who want to become technical translators, technical librarians, or students who want to study technical subjects at Japanese universities. As a beginner interested in entering the field of technical Japanese translation, I found the book very useful and interesting.

This text serves as an excellent introduction to technical Japanese. It contains 25 lessons. Each lesson starts with a review of twenty kanji which are used in the lesson. Next is a vocabulary list for the first "Reading Selection." The vocabulary list gives the kanji, romaji, and English translation for each item. The Reading Selection follows. The readings are taken from Japanese technical books and have been adapted for instructional purposes. Each Reading Selection is given in kanji, followed by a romaji version, and then an English translation. The readings cover basic material in the fields of Chemistry, Physics, Electronics, and Biology. The authors have included "Explanatory Notes' for each Reading Selection.

In each lesson there are "Construction Examples" which illustrate the use of constructions which recur frequently in technical works. Each lesson contains "Supplementary Readings" with no romanization or translation. At the end of each lesson there is a "Final Translation Test." In the Final Translation Test, each of the twenty required kanji for the lesson appear at least once. Here the student is entirely on his own, with no vocabulary list, romaji or translation provided.

Although this is an outstanding book, I think it could be improved. Translations should be provided for ALL readings, not only for the first in each lesson. This would enable the student to check all of his work. This is especially important for the Final Translation Test. It is not really a test if there is no way to check success or failure. I believe that the romanized versions of the Reading Selections are unnecessary. Romaji should be limited to the vocabulary lists. The valuable space taken up by romaji could be used for English translations of all readings. Finally, the "Index to Construction Examples" and the "Index to Explanatory Notes" should be combined, making it easier for the student to find a particular construction in the text. Also, there are many constructions listed in the vocabularies which are not listed in either index. They should be indexed as well.

I highly recommend this book as a basic text for those who are interested in getting into technical Japanese translation. Comments from others who have used this text are welcome!

* * *


Without referring to a dictionary, try to give the reading and a simple definition for each of the following Japanese words. Answers are on p. 54.

* * *


Bernard Susser of Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, writes with the following correction, or rather addition, to Fred Schodt's article in no. 18:

"There is a minor error in Schodt's article on the capsule bed (p. 24). He says that a 'European dignitary' used the term 'rabbit hutches' on a visit to Japan, but my understanding agrees with the account in Endymion Wilkinson's Misunderstanding: Europe vs. Japan (Tokyo: Chūōkōron-sha, 1981), pp. 221ff, which is that the term was first used in a confidential internal report of the EC Commission which was leaked to the press in the spring of 1979. It created a great sensation in Japan and was the 'top catchword' of 1979.

"There would be little point in correcting this minor error except for the fact that in 1980 or so someone wrote a letter to the editor of the Mainichi Daily News claiming that in fact the French term translated as 'usagigoya' in Japanese was a colloquial French term for highrise apartment buildings or apartment complexes, and that no disparagement of Japanese housing conditions was meant by its use. I do not know if this is true; one would have to check not only the meaning of the original French word but its connotation, to see if it is neutral or disparaging. If it is true, then 'usagigoya' will have to join 'mokusatsu,' 'zensho shimasu' and those many other terms whose mistranslation has affected modern Japanese history.

Incidentally, I found unexpected confirmation of this explanation of the term "rabbit hutches" in an article which appeared in the Wall Street Journal of August 27, 1984 (p. 13):

"In Tokyo, some policy critics say Japan shouldn't put itself in a league with 19th century Britain and mid-20th century America until it offers better housing, roads and parks to its own citizens. 'A capital-exporting country whose city streets are lined with rabbit hutches is a sad phenomenon indeed,' writes Hiroshi Takeuchi, managing director and head of the economics division at Long Term Credit Bank of Japan. The term 'rabbit hutches,' meant to describe cramped housing conditions, comes from a controversial European Community report of several years ago that criticized the pattern of economic development in Japan."

* * *


Shiba Sukeyori, Watanabe Hiroshi and Ishizuka Tomoichi: Tōkei yōgo jiten. Tokyo, Shinyōsha, 1984.

芝祐順・渡辺洋・石塚智一編 統計用語辞典 新曜社 昭和59年5月15日発行

This is a brand-new Japanese-English statistics dictionary, published in May 1984. It has altogether 374 pages and costs ¥3600 in Japan (until July 31, 1984). I found a copy at Kinokuniya in San Francisco for $30.60. In the main body of the dictionary (pp. 1–282) the Japanese words are listed, followed by the English equivalents and detailed definitions in Japanese. There is a very useful J-E index on pp. 301–337, and an E-J index on pp. 336–274. The indices both contain many words which are not main entries and which appear in the definitions. Users will be well advised to refer first to the indices rather than to the main text. The dictionary looks as if it will be extremely useful for those troublesome statistical words which appear so often in scientific writing.

Shinkan Shōwa 60-nendo han Zenkoku dantai meibo. Nikkan kōgyō shimbun.

This is a directory of 4,000 Japanese organizations to be published on October 1 by the Nikkan Kōgyō Shimbun. It will have 350 pages and will cost ¥5,000 until December 31 and ¥5,500 after that. The organizations will be classified in 30 categories. Information for each organization will include its name and abbreviation, address, postal code and telephone number, date of establishment, and officers. The advertisement I saw did not say whether the directory will include the English names of the organizations.

The 1984 edition of Zasshi shimbun sō-katarogu [Japan periodicals in print] has now been published by Media Research Center (Shinjuku 5-10-1, Tokyo, tel. 350-6551). This is a 1,238-page directory containing data about 15,066 current Japanese periodicals (including 11,675 magazines and 3,260 newspapers). The contents of each publication are characterized, and the type of readership and number of copies published are also given. There is also a list of 84,644 publishers, giving the name, address and telephone number of each, as well as a list of its publications. The directory costs ¥12,500 (about $51.44 at a recent exchange rate).

According to an ad I saw in the August 21 issue of the Nihon keizai shimbun, the Japanese Standards Association (Nihon Kikaku Kyookai) is publishing the following three JIS dictionaries (JIS yoogo jiten) on August 31. The dictionaries provide definitions for the words and also contain English equivalents (and French and German equivalents in some cases).

Kihon ippan-hen. Contains 7,709 words. 850 pp. ¥5,800.

Denki-hen. Contains 6,555 words. 1,100 pp. ¥4,300.

Kikai-hen. Contains about 19,000 words. 2,200 pp. ¥8,800.

Warren E. Ball of Intercontinental Marketing Corp., Wako 5 Bldg, 1-19-8 Kakigaracho Nihonbashi, Chuoku, Tokyo 103 (IPO Box 5056, Tokyo 100-31) writes to describe IMC's various products and services. IMC is a Japanese company engaged mainly in representing American business and technical periodical/book publishers in Japan and SE Asia. They also export publications from Japan to SE Asia, USA and Europe. They deal mainly in periodicals/books published in English in Japan/Asia.

Mr. Ball is also director of Japan Publications Guide Service (JPGS, CPO Box 971, Tokyo 100-91). Some of JPGS's publications include:

Japan Directory of Professional Associations, 1st ed., 1984–1987.

Published Feb. 1984. 349 pages. Lists 3,850 professional associations in Japan, giving their names in romaji and English. $150. An Update Service is also available for $100.

Japan English books in print. 1st ed., August 1980, $60. (2nd ed. to be published Dec. 1984, $70) 1st ed. lists 2,900 books.

Japan English magazine directory. 5th ed., 1981, $60. Lists 1,500 periodicals from 1,000 publishers. 6th edition will be published late in 1985.

Publishers in English in Japan. $30.

Japan Publications Guide (JPG Letter), a monthly newsletter, $35.

Another source of Japanese publications (and possibly of some innocent entertainment) is a place called Bonjinsha, which according to Preston K. Maxwell of Tokyo is the "only bookstore in Tokyo where they serve coffee as you walk in the door." He says that they are enthusiastic about taking foreign orders. Here is what he writes about them:

"Uncover the Secrets of Japan: Learn Japanese"

Bonjinsha's 160-page List of Japanese Teaching Materials No. 14 (Summer '84) is available to readers in Japan for ¥300 from: Bonjinsha, 6F Kōjimachi 6-chome Building, 6-2 ōKjimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102. Readers in N. America should send US $2 to cover surface postage. Apart from textbooks and standard reference books, the catalog contains a wide selection of books on Japanese culture and linguistics, including Nipponjin no nō and Japan's Modern Myth as well as audio tapes of Japanese literature. No technical dictionaries yet, but that's probably because there hasn't been any demand. So if you write for the catalog, tell them who you are and what kinds of books you buy from Japan.

* * *


Production of JL word processors has been growing again during 1984. The number manufactured during the period January-May was 53,197, amounting to a 53.4% increase over the same period last year, and deliveries were 56,131, amounting to an 81.2% increase. The monetary value of deliveries also increased by 40.8%. Figures for June have not yet come out, but it is believed certain that the January-June period of 1984 will have an increase of 60% in the number produced and an 80% increase in the number of deliveries. If only the manufacturers are able to obtain a sufficient supply of ICs for their products, it is expected that the total number of JL word processors which will go into operation this year may go as high as 200,000, far in excess of the initial target of 170,000 units.

The production and delivery figures are expected to increase dramatically around September because full-scale deliveries of personal type word processors costing around ¥200,000 (roughly $833) will begin. Fujitsu is coming out with its "OASYS Lite" (¥220,000 or roughly $916), and Canon with its PW-10 (the main unit costing ¥148,000 or roughly $616). Fujitsu says that it has back orders for more than 10,000 units, and nearly 4,000 of the orders are from individuals who want to use the machines at home. 80% of the individuals are males in their 30's and 40's. Other manufacturers such as Matsushita, Toshiba, and NEC are also expected to announce inexpensive JL word processors for the personal market sometime this year.

The market for JL word processors amounted to 2,500 units in 1980. The number increased to 11,000 in 1981, 33,500 in 1982, and 95,000 in 1983. The original prediction for 1984 was a total of 170,000, but this estimate will now have to be revised upwards. (Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, August 22, 1984)

* * *


"Project X" is the name assigned to a nation-wide machine translation network now being planned by a Tokyo translation company called Technical Center, according to a front-page article in the Nikkan kōgyō shimbun of August 29, 1984. The company aims at beginning commercial service of its network in April, 1985.

The article appears to be describing two systems: a system called ADEPT-98 for assisting translators with looking up words in dictionary databases, and a nation-wide network for providing clients with machine translations on-line via communication lines.

The translator-assistance database system uses ADEPT-98 as its "satellites." 80 terminals can be connected to each "satellite." The ADEPT-98 database system used by the network will be based on an IBM System 38 computer housing subject-specific dictionary databases. The terminals used by the translators will be IBM 5550 computers equipped with J-E translatorassistance tools. When a translator working at a terminal encounters a problem word, he will access the databases and specify the subject field of the job and other information specific to the job such as the name of the client. Then he will input the word in romaji. The system will display the most suitable equivalent on the translator's terminal. If there are a number of equivalents, further choices can be made by usage and examples. Technical Center will begin a test run in November using 20 terminals. At that time, the dictionary databases will contain 300,000 words, but the number of words is to be enlarged to 1,000,000 by February, 1985.

The nation-wide translation network for on-line automated translation will be built up using ADEPT-98 as satellites. Satellites in various parts of Japan will be connected to a host computer equipped with J-E and E-J machine translation programs to make up the nationwide network system. The automated translation network will use either an IBM 308X or a Fujitsu M-380 as the host computer for the J-E and E-J machine translation programs. A client wishing to obtain a machine translation on-line can access the program in the host computer through ADEPT-98 using a special communication circuit or DDX. When the nationwide network is completed in April it will have at first about 1,000 terminals, and a "translation rate" of 90% (evidently meaning 90% accuracy) is being aimed at in developing the technology. An E-J machine translation program is also being prepared and has already attained a "translation rate" of 55%.

According to the article in the Nikkan kōgyō shimbun, Technical Center is located at Nishi Shimbashi 3-23-6, Minato-ku, Tokyo (tel. 03-436-0567). The company president is identified as Mr. Sadao Yamaguchi. (A translation agency called "Technical Service" with the same address and telephone number is listed in the directory on p. 188 of the Honyaku jiten '84. According to that publication, it has 25 full-time translators and 200 registered translators.)

* * *


We're entering the century of the Pacific. By the year 2010, according to estimates, 60 percent of the world's population will be living on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. This means that this ocean, which has been used as a barrier and as a theater of war, will become a vast telecommunications superhighway. The opportunity for Pacific Rim nations to become developed, to become a part of this expanding computerized world, is profound. San Francisco is the gateway to this activity, since we are the center of much of this trade and commerce. We view this as a very fortunate and essential role to play.

Mayor Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco, quoted in PC World, August 1984, p. 299.

The so-called educated person who remains ignorant of the new technologies can no longer think of himself as truly educated. In the Middle Ages, the mark of an educated man was his grasp of the cultural and intellectual underpinnings of society. He acquired this grasp through an understanding of Latin. To acquire this grasp today, he must understand the electronic technologies that permeate his social and professional environment.

Roy Cottier, senior vice-president, Northern Telecom (Ontario), speech at Edinburgh University. Quoted in Language Monthly, August 1984, p. 11.

個人の頭脳から出る独創力、それがキリスト教西洋の文明進保の根幹である。集合 的創造力、これが神儒仏三教折衷の日本文明の有様だ。これからの西洋にとってきわ めて危険なのは、彼らの独創の成果は日本社会に抵抗なく入り、それを核として、日 本社会独自の巨大な創造性が付加されることだ。ところが、西洋社会にはこの日本人 の成果は、プロダクト(商品)としては入っても、プロセスとしては人らない。西洋 社会ではそれは異端なのだから。すでに述べたように、世界の歴史段階は、いまや経 済がフルパワーに近づきつつある。この世界では西洋は日本との競争にまったく勝ち 日がない。  馬野周二著 「技術文明の法則」(ダイヤモンド社)p.219

Thus, if industrial society is a society in which people have affluent material consumption, the information society will be a society in which the cognitive creativity of individuals flourishes throughout society. And if the highest stage of industrial society is the high mass consumption society, then the highest stage of the information society will be the global futurization society, a vision that greatly expands and develops [Adam] Smith's vision of a universal opulent society; this is what I mean by 'Computopia'. This global futurization society will be a society in which everyone pursues the possibilities of one's own future, actualizing one's own self -futurization needs by acting in a goal-oriented way. It will be global in which multi-centered voluntary communities of citizens participating voluntarily in shared goals and ideas flourish simultaneously throughout the world.

Yoneji Masuda, The information society as post-industrial society. 1981. p. 147.

"For a Russian newcomer to America there are traditionally two occupations — taxi driver and translator. Those who fail their driver's test go into translation." Yuri Radzievsky, quoted by Walter Goodman in a review of Victor Ripp's From Moscow to Main Street in the New York Times, August 4, 1984.

* * *


Many useful contacts have been made through the directory, not only by persons who are looking for translators, but also by translators who want to contact each other. For your convenience, I am including in this issue again a composite directory which embraces all the names submitted so far.

Readers should let me know promptly when they move so that I can change their directory entries.

APPS, F.R.D. Owner, Ingatestone Translations, 57 High St., Ingatestone, Essex, CM4 OAT, England. Japanese to English Technical Translation. Specialties electronics, organic chemistry.

BRAND, Russell. Director, Seijo Language Center. 9-21-15 Seijo, Setagayaku, Tokyo 157, Japan. Tel. (03) 484-0257.

CHANDLER, Brian. 10, Simmondley Grove, Glossop, Derbyshire SK13 9NQ, England. Tel. Glossop (04574) 61906. J-E Technical Translation. Specialties computers, electronics and patents.

DAVISON, Lucile S. 50 Tomlinson Rd., Woodbury, CT 06798. Tel. (203) 2634207. Japanese, Russian, German, and French to English. MS in Chemistry, Univ. Oklahoma 1940; technical librarian for U.S. Rubber Co. 1942–45; abstractor for Am. Petrol. Inst., Chemical Abstracts, Metals Abstracts; associate editor Rubber Chemistry and Technology 1967–80. Specializes in chemical literature and patents.

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.

FRASER, D.A., BA, MIL, 22 Gresley Road, London N19 3JZ, England. Japanese to English. Chemistry, medicine, life sciences. Freelance translator.

GLEASON, Alan. 1280 4th Ave., No. 3, San Francisco CA 94122. Tel. (415) 753-2702. Member NCTA. J-E translation and J-E/E-J consecutive interpreting. Fields: electronics, chemistry, computers, business, economics.

GORHAM, Don Cyril. 12900 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904. Tel. (301) 3849512. Jpn/Eng Eng/Jpn interpretation (consecutive) and translation. Liberal arts background; graduate of pre-WWII Jpn schools. Ten years experience as freelancer: economic, legal, political, and some technical (electronics, fishing, nuclear energy).

HAZELRIGG, Meredith. 468-1 Mizuno Sayama-shi, Saitama-ken, Japan 350-13. Tel. 0181-429-59-7959 (direct dial from U.S.), 0429-59-7959 (Japan). Freelance translation (general technical work with emphasis in three areas: medical, electronics, financial) and consultant in cross-cultural communication. Member, SWET. Listed, Contemporary Authors Trustee, Allegan Education Foundation (Box 155, Allegan, Michigan 49010 USA).

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.

HUNG, John Y. Owner, SANTRAN, 141 Zengel Dr., Centerville, OH 45459. Tel. (513) 4349288. Chinese, Japanese and German into English, and English into Chinese. ES, MA, MS. College instructor 1960–69, computer systems engineers 1969–73, and avionics and flight systems digital controls since 1973. Freelance translator since 1980. Specialties include patents, nuclear sciences, avionics, computers, aeronautics, electronics, software and aerodynamics.

ISHIMOTO, Paul. Japan Patent Service, 2025 Eye Street, N.W. #307, Washington, D.C. 20006. Specializes in translation of Japanese patents. Worked as translator in U.S. Patent Office for more than 15 years.

JENSON, W.L. 1-24 Tashiro Hondori, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Japan 464. Tel.: (052)762-6532. Freelance Technical Translation (J-E), 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.

KAY, Carl. Owner, Japanese Language Services, 45 Putnam Ave., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139. Tel.: (617)661-9784. Offers Japanese translation, typesetting, interpreting and research services.

KURODA, Keiko. 1655 ½A Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94133. Tel.: (415) 7718409. Member ATA and NCTA. J-E interpreting and translation, abstracting and editing. Specialties: Legal translation and court interpreting. Technical translation in chemistry, electronics and engineering. Patents in all fields.

LAMB, John D. 5-32-10, Nagasaki, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171,Japan. Tel.: (03) 957-7390. Japanese and German to English; general technical work, mainly computers and electronics. B.Sc. Computer Science, London. Research in AI, Sussex University ('72-'73) and London University ('73-'75).

LIM, Peter, Ph.D. Chemistry, Syracuse University. 5220 N.E. 51st St., Vancouver, WA 98661. Tel.: (206) 694-5353 (home); (206) 695-4477, Ext. 349 (business). Areas of experience: Electronics, semiconductors, nuclear engineering, chemistry, mathematics, mechanical engineering, pulp and paper, patents, contracts.

McRAE, John R. 632 Colfax Court, Goleta, CA 93117. Tel.: (805) 964-9601. Ph.D. from Yale University (Chinese Buddhism). Computer Systems Manager, Berlitz/Agnew TechTran, 6415 Independence Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 93167.

McWILLIAMS, John J. President, The Word Shop, Ltd. 71 Karasawa, Minamiku, Yokohama 232. Tel.: (045) 261-2304. J-E translations in the fields of computers, robotics and data communications. Custom-made microcomputers with word processing software and an Epson MP-80 dot printer.

MOFFETT, Linda. 749 Ash Street, Denver, Colorado 80220. Tel. (303) 388-0284. BA, University of Colorado Japanese Studies, background in chemistry and pharmacy. Specializes in chemistry, batteries, textiles, medical.

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

NISHIMURA, Keiichi. 461 Grizzly Peak Blvd., Berkeley, CA 94708. Patent attorney. Translates technical and scientific documents including Japanese patents into English.

OSBORN, David K. 2495 Santa Rosa Ave., Altadena, CA 91001. Tel. (818) 797-8956. Japanese-English translator, editor, business correspondent and technical writer. Experience in medical, cultural, legal and business fields. Abstracts, typing and revisions.

PACIFIC INTERFACE, Inc. 60 West 76th St., New York, NY 10023. Tel. (212) 877-9159. Tokyo office: #401 Tagami Building, 4-1-14 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160, tel. (03) 376-3908. Laurin Herr, president, Betsy Kuga Schneider, associate. Research, consulting, and J-to-E translation, specializing in computer graphics. Sixteen years combined experience in technical translation.

PATNER, Richard. 14226 61st Place West, Edmonds, WA 98020. Tel. (206) 745-8089. Japanese to English translation of patents and technical documents with over ten years experience.

PEARCY, Ralph. 1900 S. Eads St., Arlington, VA 22202. Tel. (703) 892-1081. J-to-E technical and scientific translation, much patent experience. Biochemistry, electronics, textiles, physics, math.

PHILIPPI, Donald L. 715 Tenth Ave., San Francisco, CA 94118. Tel. (415) 752-7735. J-E technical translation in all fields. 23 years experience, Tokyo 1961–1971, S.F. since 1971. IBM Displaywriter. Editor of Technical Japanese Translation since May, 1983.

RIDLEY, Charles P. 2780 Ross Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303. Tel.: (415) 328-7344. Japanese-English and Chinese-English. BA in biology from Bates College; MA and PhD in Chinese from Stanford University. 20 years experience. Specialties include medicine, pharmaceuticals, chemistry, computer technology.

RUSOFF, Arnold F. 209 Hudson St., Ithaca, N.Y. 14850. Tel.: (607) 277-2292. Japanese to English translation of computer documentation. Eight years of experience. IBM PC with Wordstar.

SATOH, Tomoyuki. 2714 E. 22nd St., Austin TX 78722. Tel. (512)479-8460. M.A. Physics, The Johns Hopkins University. Japan Information Service, Austin. J-E translation and abstracting. Excellent in physics, mathematics, chemistry, elec. and mech. engineering, and patents in all fields; adequate in medical, pharmaceutical, electronics and computer science, law, economics, etc.

SCHODT, Frederik L. 144 Parnassus Ave. Apt. 14, San Francisco, CA 94117. Tel. (415) 681-9803. Member A.T.A. and N.C.T.A. Japanese-English interpreting, translation. Specialties computers, electronics. Epson QX-10 word processor.

SHIELDS, John N. CPO 42, Nagoya Japan 450 (Fax & business phone in Japan: (052) 7222-7181) and 1380 Lone Oak Road, Eagan, MN 55121 (Fax & business phone: 612-221-9088; RICOH GIII). J-E technical translation in many fields. 23 years in Japan, 15 in translation.

SHKOLNIK, Alexander. 4434 Fulton St., Apt. #2, San Francisco, CA 94121. Tel. (415) 3870290. Member A.T.A. and N.C.T.A. Japanese-English-Russian technical translations. Specialization in patent matters, mechanical engineering, metallurgy and chemistry. Worked as patent agent since 1963. Translating since 1959 from English to Russian, since 1965 from Japanese to Russian, and since 1970 into English from both.

SORDEAN, Jay, C.A. 2637 Regent St., #306, Berkeley, CA 94704. Tel.: (415) 841-9167. Languages: Japanese. Subjects: Medical, biological, patents, pharmaceuticals, chemistry, electronics, mechanical engineering, Oriental medicine, computers, legal, etc. 6 years translation & abstracting experience. Epson QX-10 word processor.

TALBOT, BRUCE G. Maisonette Daita #E, 5-13-17 Daita, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 155. About 2 years experience in business, economics and other non-technical areas. Presently shifting to computers, electronics, patents and other technical areas. Wants to correspond with U.S.based translators.

UYAMA, Hiroshi. Director, Japan Technical Information Center, 706 Seventh Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003. Tel.: (202)544-6314 (days), (703) 979-0054 (evenings). B.A., Chemistry, International Christian University in Tokyo, M.S. Inorganic Chemistry, Tokyo Institute of Technology. Since 1975 Japanese-English interpreting, translation, and consulting services in Washington, D.C. Science, technology, politics, social sciences.

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Editor's Postscript

An article in the New York Times dated July 31 describes the operations of the Joint Publication Research Service. A spokesman for the C.I.A. is quoted as saying that 1,000 freelance translators working at home for the JPRS translate 75 million words, or 350,000 pages, of material a year. One of the translators who translates articles from Hebrew into English is paid $27.50 for each 1,000 words.

An article by Scott Armstrong in the Christian Science Monitor of May 8, 1984, discusses the need for the U.S. to track Japanese technology but says that there are signs of "scientific myopia." America's long leadership in science has resulted in an inclination to overlook foreign R&D work. The National Technical Information Service finds that there is "little interest in hard-core Japanese lab reports." Engineering Information, Inc., a New York abstracting service, "has been trying to garner corporate support for a Japanese information service; the response has been tepid." (See Paula Doe's article, elsewhere in this issue, for more information about Engineering Information, Inc.)

Paula Doe reports "limited enthusiasm" in the U.S. government for accessing the JICST database in Japanese. Evidently the government is content to wait until the Japanese perfect machine translation before it will start learning about Japanese technology. Obviously, what the Americans lack is curiosity. A pressing need for them, according to the article in the Christian Science Monitor, is to import another Japanese asset: the desire to learn from others. (I wish they could read what Shuji Umano says in his book, reviewed in this issue, on the subject of "arrogance.")

An article in the New York Times says that the Japanese Fifth-Generation project has hit two snags: an insufficient budget and a shortage of researchers in artificial intelligence. The Times article says that the program is likely to get a budget of 25 billion — half the targeted 50 billion — for the second phase of development, starting next April. Because of the shrinking budget, private enterprises participating in the project seem to be delaying their development efforts in the area of computerized visual analysis, understanding of spoken language, and translation.

For the first phase of the project, to be completed by the end of next March, MITI originally called for a budget of l0 billion, but received only 8 billion.

The Times also points out that Japan lacks researchers adept in the development of artificial intelligence. Although ICOT plans to double the number of its researchers in this field from the current 50 to 100 next year, private enterprises participating in the project seem reluctant to supply researchers to it. (Japan Times, August 14, 1984)

IBM Japan is busy trying to recuit Japanese university graduates to work as engineers and researchers. A big recruiting ad in the Nihon keizai shimbun of August 7, 1984 claims that IBM Japan now has a total of 14,800 employees, and it is trying to recruit still more. According to the August 17 issue of the same paper, IBM Japan's hiring goal for spring 1985 university graduates amounts to 1100, the same number which NEC will hire. Only two companies will hire more: Fujitsu (will hire 1220) and Hitachi (will hire 1125). Someone please tell me whether it is true, as Dr. Umano asserts, that the best Japanese university graduates are reluctant to take jobs with IBM Japan.

Japanese companies have pledged to contribute 650,000 pounds to enable teaching of Japanese studies to continue at Cambridge University. A chair was established there in 1948. The British government recently cut back the financing, the number of professors was cut from three to one, and it was feared that Japanese studies at the university might have to be canceled entirely. 40 Japanese companies responded to an appeal by former Ambassador Cortazzi and Dr. Blacker of Cambridge. (Nihon keizai shimbun, August 17, 1984)

The UC Extension Center in San Francisco is offering a one-day seminar about artificial intelligence on September 22 at 55 Laguna St., S.F. The seminar, titled "Machines That Think: Understanding Human and Artificial Intelligence," will be led by philosopher Hubert Dreyfus and management scientist Stuart Dreyfus, both of UC Berkeley. Topics include: five stages of skill acquisition; the history of AI; a nontechnical description of various types of expert systems; and the role of computers in management and education.

Steven Schlossstein's new book Trade war — Greed power, and industrial policy on opposite sides of the Pacific (Congdon & Weed, Inc., New York, 1984) was reviewed in the Japan Times of July 21, 1984 by Neil W. Davis, who says: "Schlossstein correctly assesses the Japanese business culture as an iceberg, with harmony existing at the top and conflict and rivalry below, and he advises that outsiders should consider the concealed part of the symbolic iceberg as a crucial aspect to be examined, and that too much emphasis on the harmonious 'tip' is imprudent. His stories about competition and conflict within the Japanese business world are well told and contribute to a wider understanding of the overall arena of bilateral trade issues."

Another new champon word (see the discussion above on p. 23) is mentioned by Bob Horiguchi in the August 14, 1984 issue of the Japan Times. The word is chūhai Horiguchi kindly supplies the following definition:

"Chuhai is a word that recently has been added to the vernacular vocabulary by melding the chu in shochu and hai as in haibooru (highball). It refers to drinks made by mixing shochu with various fruit juices."

Those interested in laser printers should check out the following two articles:

"Laser printers zap the price barrier," by Cary Lu. High technology, September 1984, pp. 52–57.

"Laser printers," by Janette Martin. PC World, September 1984, pp. 82–91.

ANSWERS TO QUIZ (see p. 43)

  1. mosa "a stalwart" etc. Kenkyusha's New J-E dictionary, 4th ed., p. 1133.
  2. eshi "necrosis" Kenkyusha's New J-E dictionary, 4th ed., p. 242.
  3. shonenba "crucial moment" etc. Kenkyusha's New J-E dictionary, 4th ed., p. 1604.
  4. fukokoroe "imprudence" etc. Kenkyusha's New J-E dictionary, 4th ed., p. 264.
  5. hakidashikan "discharge pipe" Japanese scientific terms: Mechanical engineering (Ministry of Education), p. 47.
  6. Minamata-byō "Minamata-disease" (mercury poisoning) Kenkyusha's New J-E dictionary, 4th ed., p. 1098.
  7. nohōzu "wild, unbridled" etc. Kenkyusha's New J-E dictionary, 4th ed., p. 1245.
  8. waido "skewness" Kenkyusha's New J-E dictionary, 4th ed., p. 1938.

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Send me your tidbits, and I will incorporate them in the next issue. The current subscriptions are for SIX MONTHS (from June through November, 1984). If you paid only for the first year (ended in May 1984), your subscription has now expired. Don't forget to send in your $20 if you want to continue receiving the newsletter for the current six-month period. And also write if you want your name included in the Directory. Those who send in lists should provide the kanji for the Japanese words. I will type them in Japanese if necessary.

September 10, 1984

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

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