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Symposium: Court Interpreters in the Times of the Lay-Judge System

2016-2-18 (Thu) 13:15 - 16:30

With nearly seven years having passed since the lay-judge system was introduced as part of legal system reform, the participation of general citizens in criminal courts as citizen judges has begun to take root. In such a setting, it's not uncommon to see foreigners who don’t fully understand the Japanese language go into a court as defendants or witnesses.

Court interpreters who translate Japanese and foreign languages both visually and audibly are necessary for the proceedings of such trials. Although the role of interpreters is recognized, the distress associated with their heavy responsibilities has not often been brought to light.

A research team led by TSUDA Mamoru (Professor, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies; Professor Emeritus, Osaka University) conducted surveys targeting court interpreters over the past 7 years. The results of the surveys will be published as Court Interpreters in the Times of Lay-judge System from Osaka University Press in February 2016. In this symposium, authors of this book will speak about the results of their research in order to deepen discussions on the improvement of working conditions and reduction of burden for court interpreters.

In addition to users of court interpreters such as lawyers, prosecutors, judges and individuals related to investigation, students majoring laws and foreign languages, law school students, interpreters in other areas, individuals hoping to become interpreters, as well as members of the general public interested in this topic are cordially welcome to attend this symposium.

This symposium is sponsored by Grant-in-Aid for Challenging Exploratory Research “Interdisciplinary Study for Reducing Court Interpreters’ Burden – Improvement of Working Environment and Japanese Language Proficiency Skills" (led by SHIMIZU Kahoru, Associate Professor, Shizuoka University; No. 24653121)


  • Part 1: Voices of Court Interpreters (reports by authors of the above-mentioned book)
  • Part 2: Open discussion
  • Social gathering (at Finn’s Café & Restaurant, Edo-Tokyo Museum)
  • A fee of 4,000 yen will be collected from persons attending.

How to apply:

Please send your (1) name, (2) organization and job title, (3) telephone number, and (4) whether or not you will attend the social gathering following the symposium in an email entitled "Application for 2/18 Open Symposium" to

Date: 2016-2-18 (Thu) 13:15 - 16:30
Organizer: University of Shizuoka Court Interpreters Research Team
Sponsored: Center for Global Studies, Graduate School of International Relations, Shizuoka University; World Liberal Arts Center, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies; Global Collaboration Center, Osaka University
Venue: Conference Room, 1F, Edo-Tokyo Museum, Tokyo
Registration: Registration by email is required.
Contact: Global Collaboration Center, Osaka University

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