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What is JAT?

Mission and Objectives



The Japan Association of Translators (JAT) was founded in May 1985 as a means for individual translators to exchange information and insights. JAT members help each other do a better job for their clients and a more rewarding one for themselves.

Believing that it is individuals - not agencies - who translate and interpret and that furthering the interests of individual translators is primary to advancing the profession, we have only one class of members: individuals.

JAT incorporated in Tokyo as a nonprofit organization in 2001 and now has more than 700 members worldwide. Most are Japanese-to-English or English-to-Japanese translators. Interpreters and translators of other language combinations lend further breadth and diversity to the organization.


IJET Conferences

JAT’s largest on-going project is the International Japanese English Translation (IJET) Conference, which is held over two or more days every year, alternating between Japan and an English-speaking country.

Although the program and format vary from year to year depending on local organizers’ interests and resources, all IJET Conferences focus on helping translators and interpreters share the experience and expertise needed to do better work.

The first IJET Conference was held in 1990 in Hakone and attracted over 130 participants. Bath, Chicago, Dublin, Hiroshima, Kobe, Kyoto, Miyazaki, Okinawa, San Francisco, Seattle, Sydney, Vancouver, Yokohama, and other cities have hosted subsequent conferences. IJET-24 was held in Hawaii in June 2013.



The PROfessional Japanese-English Conference on Translation (PROJECT) is a one?day conference covering all aspects of how to succeed in the translation business. Over 250 participants attended the first PROJECT Tokyo in November 2008. The conference was held in Osaka in 2009,  in Tokyo in 2010 and again in 2011 in Nagoya.


Other Meetings

JAT holds monthly meetings in Tokyo and several events throughout the year in Kansai and elsewhere. We invite experts from JAT and other organizations to talk on a range of topics, including field-specific translation, incorporation and taxation issues, and self?marketing. Meetings are followed by a networking event to give participants more opportunities to connect.



The JATLAW group, launched in early 2010, works closely with the Japan Legal Information Institute to promote more consistent and informative legal translation. Meetings are held several times a year and focus on issues such as tort law, property law, and bankruptcy law.


Contest for Beginning Translators

In 2004, JAT launched an annual translation contest to encourage beginning commercial translators with less than three years’ experience. The 2009 winner of the Japanese to English category described the contest as an invaluable opportunity to get a taste of the challenges and obstacles of real-world translation.



Our e-Juku program, launched in 2009, gives participants an opportunity to hone their translation skills over several weeks in a virtual classroom where veteran translators provide detailed feedback and advice.


JAT Website and Mailing Lists

Information on upcoming events, translation news and articles, video and audio presentation recordings, and other resources are available on the JAT website. Members can easily find each other and advertise their qualifications and services via the website. At the same time, potential clients can contact members using an online form, so that e-mail addresses are kept private.A members-only mailing list is available for asking questions and sharing ideas on translation?related issues.


Relations with Other Organizations

JAT maintains active relations with other translation organizations in Japan and elsewhere and is an associate member of the International Federation of Translators (FIT).


Joining JAT

Membership is open to all individuals interested in translation and interpretation between Japanese and English. You can sign up by clicking “Join JAT” - or, if you prefer to get a better sense of what we offer first, we would be delighted to welcome you at one of our events.



Join JAT