February 16 - Setting up a Translation Company in Japan

Speaker: Phil Robertson of Honyaku Plus
Date: Tuesday, February 16
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Place: Tokyo Women’s Plaza
Fee: SWET & JAT members 1,000 yen/non-members 2,000 yen
Map: http://www.tokyo-womens-plaza.metro.tokyo.jp/contents/map.html

Phil Robertson is a professional translator and co-founder of Honyaku Plus. Based in Jimbocho, Tokyo, Honyaku Plus was incorporated in 2003 and specializes in top-quality translation in the fields of international relations, information technology, emerging technologies, medicine, economics, digital camera technology, and sports.

Phil’s earlier career in Japan included five-year stints working for Yamaha Motors and Toshiba Semiconductor, which were followed by the 2002 FIFA World Cup and a year working at the Institute for International Policy Studies, a Tokyo think-tank founded by Prime Minister Nakasone. For the past three years Phil has served on the board of the Japan Association of Translators, and has been actively involved in organizing large-scale events for translators, including conferences in Tokyo, Sydney and Okinawa.

This presentation charts the evolution to date of a small translation company established around seven years ago by two Tokyo-area gaijin. It will address a wide range of topics, including the technicalities of incorporation in Japan, finding premises in Tokyo, hiring of staff, outsourcing, finance, sales and promotion. The speaker’s intention is to try and avoid getting too bogged down in descriptions of the bureaucratic minutiae involved, and to instead paint a broad-brush picture of how the original idea for a company can be brought to fruition. Since this talk represents a single case study in one specific area of Japan, the speaker hopes that audience members with similar experiences will feel free to provide a wider perspective by offering their own insights into the process.