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Happy New Year!

I’m writing to tell you what the Japan Association of Translators has accomplished over the past six months.

At the beginning of 2019, JAT membership stands at just over 700. About half of JAT’s members live in Japan, and the rest are scattered across the globe. You can find most members in the JAT directory at https://jat.org/translators and information about JAT’s history and organization at https://jat.org/about.

The IJET-29 Organizing Committee, led by Chair Shinya Futagami, skillfully put together JAT’s 29th International Japanese-English Translation Conference in Osaka between June 29 and July 1, 2018. JAT appreciates the hard work of the committee and congratulates them for making IJET-29 such a success. Many videos of sessions at IJET-29 are now available on the JAT website at https://jat.org/events/videos.

The JAT anthology — 翻訳者の目線 (Translator Perspectives) — was published in September 2018 and distributed extensively to JAT members and non-members worldwide. PDF, ePub, and mobi files of the anthology are available for download from the JAT website at https://jat.org/about/publication/translator-perspectives-2018. Please consider contributing your thoughts to the next anthology.

JAT has four regional activity committees (Tokyo Activities Committee (TAC), Kansai Activities Team (KAT), Tohoku Regional Activities Committee (TRAC), and Midwest Activities Committee (MAC))and six Special Interest Groups (SIGs): JATLAW (legal translation), JATPHARMA (medical/pharmaceutical translation), JATINT (interpreting), JATTOOLS (translation tools), and JATPATENT (patent translations), and JATENT (entertainment). Each RAC or SIG committee organizes interest-specific meetings and other events, holds discussions online, and finds quality speakers for IJETs and other major JAT meetings. These groups held 14 events in Japan and the US between June and December 2018.

Two TAC meetings in Tokyo have already been planned for early in 2019: SEO and Digital Marketing for Translators in Japan, What You Need to Know, on January 19; and The Retirement Puzzle, Broken Promises & the Demographic Time Bomb, on February 16. JATPHARMA will also hold an afternoon/evening workshop in Osaka on February 16. See https://jat.org/events for a list of upcoming JAT events and watch for announcements via the Forums and on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/japanassociationoftranslators/).

As with most JAT activities, these events are organized by volunteers, and if you want to help out, please let the organizers know when you attend a meeting or drop me a line at president1 [at] jat.org and I’ll put you in contact with someone.

And of course, make sure you put June 28 to 30, 2019 in your diary for IJET-30 in the tropical city of Cairns in Far North Queensland, the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The theme of the conference will be “Life, Style, and Translation ― ことばを繋ぎ、未来を紡ぐ”.

The Fifteenth Annual JAT Translation Contest for New and Aspiring Japanese/English Translators was launched on October 1, 2018. Twenty-eight entrants submitted translations in the Japanese to English division and 38 entrants in the English to Japanese division. The finalists have been announced on the JAT website at https://jat.org/news/fifteenth-annual-jat-contest-finalists and the first- and second-place winners will be announced in mid-February 2019.

Among our other outreach activities, JAT has good working relationships with the Japan Translation Federation and the Society of Writers, Editors, and Translators, and we keep a watching brief on news from the International Federation of Translators and translation-related initiatives by the International Organization for Standardization. JAT is also invited to contribute regular articles to the publication 通訳翻訳ジャーナル, the February 2019 issue of which will feature an article on our upcoming IJET-30 Conference in Cairns. Individual JAT SIGs also pursue outreach projects, such as JATLAW’s close liaison with the Japanese Law Translation Council.

Keep your eyes open for an upcoming announcement about a PROJECT to be organized later this year, providing a mini-conference opportunity for those who are unable to make it to Cairns.

Other reasons to visit the JAT website regularly include the Job Board at https://jat.org/job-board, where new job opportunities are posted on an almost daily basis, and the JAT Blog at https://jat.org/blog. Contributions to the blog are always welcome, in either Japanese or English. Please write to me at president1 [at] jat.org for further information.

JAT’s directors are as follows:

Tony Atkinson - President, Contest, Anthology, e-Juku Liaison
James Singleton - Vice President, SIG and RAC Liaison
Chris Blakeslee - Treasurer, Asst. Membership
Cliff Bender - Asst. Treasurer (overseas accounts)
Chiharu Hirabayashi - Legal Affairs, Membership, Asst. Secretary
Shiho Koizumi - Secretary, JTF Liaison
Phil Robertson - IJET Liaison, Public Relations, FIT Liaison
Brian Hyman - Online Tools Specialist, Managing Board Transition
Charles Aschmann - Webmaster, Content
Nadine Edwards - Asst. IJET Liaison, Asst. Webmaster

JAT’s auditors are Danny MacLeith and Naoko Selland

In administration news, JAT has hired a new accountant to handle our tax filings. The new accountant should save JAT a substantial amount in annual fees and will also provide us with a higher level of service than we received previously.

JAT thanks all our behind-the-scenes volunteers. JAT volunteers handle everything from SIG and RAC event organization to website content and elections, the AskJAT email contact address and Job Board, the translation contest, e-Juku, translations of announcements and other information, the JAT anthology, technical issues, ISO discussions, and more. Your continued dedication to our profession is indispensable.

In closing, I encourage all our members to consider paying their gains forward. If you’ve been helped or inspired by JAT, please think about joining a JAT committee, helping to organize a future IJET, or writing an entry for JAT’s blog or the next anthology. Email me in English or Japanese (president1 [at] jat.org) to volunteer or find out more. JAT needs your talent and energy!


Tony Atkinson
President, JAT
January 4, 2019

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