The Japanese version is the original and the English translation is for information purposes only.

The Japan Association of Translators wishes to express its strong reservations regarding the public and private sector initiative to use AI for high-volume translation and export of manga.

First, in its current form, AI translation has yet to demonstrate the level of quality required to adequately portray nuance, cultural background, or character traits, which are critical to a work of fiction. Using machines to churn out mass quantities of translated works in a short amount of time (according to official announcements, 50,000 works in 5 years, with the shortest turnaround being 2 days per work) risks greatly diminishing the value of the work itself.

Moreover, excessive reliance on AI risks putting professional manga translators, who have supported the industry for years, out of work and turns valuable human resources into throw-away commodities. We are deeply concerned about the negligent disregard for so much accumulated experience and skill for the sake of cost reduction.

This is to say nothing of the risk posed by releasing hastily produced, low-quality translations into the market. Poor translations undermine consumer trust, opening the window for pirated versions to flourish. Given that manga is an important facet of Japanese culture and one of the many ways that people are first introduced to Japan, it is all the more important that the words we use to convey these stories are not undervalued.

Based on our experience and subject-matter expertise, it is the opinion of this organization that AI translation is extremely unsuitable for translating high-context, story-centric writing, such as novels, scripts, and manga. Quick and easy AI translation not only risks hurting the translation industry or the manga industry, it is not in the country's best interests.

Our organization is deeply concerned that the public and private sector initiative to use AI for high-volume translation and export of manga will damage Japan’s soft power.

The Japan Association of Translators holds that expert translation by professional translators is essential to ensure that Japan's exceptional manga continue to reach and engage readers around the world.

We strongly propose that now is the time for careful and constructive dialogue between manga artists, businesses (publishers), the government, translators, translator organizations, readers, and all stakeholders, to consider the appropriate use of AI and machine translation.

                         Japan Association of Translators

Press Release

名称:特定非営利法人 日本翻訳者協会
住所:東京都渋谷区渋谷2-7-14 5F