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Investing in Japanese Technical Translation Services A Must or Pass

Investing in Japanese Technical Translation Services: A Must or Pass? 

Whether you’re in the initial stages of planning to break through the Japanese market or already have taken serious steps towards your business expansion plan, you, for sure, have wondered about the importance of Japanese technical translation services. Are Japanese technical translation services worth the investment?


In this blog, we will take you on a quick tour through the world of Japan, especially the Japanese business market, if you’re still in the figuring-out stage. We’ll give you straight answers to your most pressing questions regarding the importance and challenges you will face while setting up your business in Japan. Also, we’ll underline the importance of professional Japanese technical translation services in shaping your presence in the land of the rising sun. 


Table of Contents

What Is Technical Translation?

Technical translation is a specialized type of translation that focuses on all the technology-related subject areas, such as construction, engineering, agriculture, social and natural sciences, healthcare, metallurgy, and much more. Here, the technical translator deals with sensitive technical documents, like user guides, user manuals, instructions manuals, electronics guides, etc.

Consequently, it’s an area that doesn’t only require knowledgeable technical translators but also an expert project management team, both with a deep understanding of the discipline in question and the appropriate advanced technology tools that match the project’s nature and requirements.


High-quality Japanese technical translations are the natural consequence of the interaction between Japanese cultural understanding, a high level of linguistic capabilities, and subject-matter expertise.

Top Reasons To Expand in the Japanese Market

It’s worth noting that Japan re-established its presence globally after World War 2, from the void to a tempting market, offering foreign investors the opportunity to enter the world of Asia. According to Investopedia, Japan ranks third in the worldwide largest economies list. Its GDP (nominal) was worth $5.06 trillion in 2020 and is expected to reach $5.2 trillion in 2022 and $5.9 trillion in 2023. Moreover, according to Export To Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange is considered the largest in Asia; more than 3.700 companies are listed there. Also, Japan worked its way up until it reached the point to be the second-largest computer and telecommunication market worldwide.Top 5 Countries by Nominal GDP at Current U S Dollar Exchange RatesCorrespondingly, based on Worldometer data, Japan’s population has reached 125,905,537, characterized by its high disposable income, making Japan one of the biggest consumer markets globally. 


In view of the above, you can rest assured that Japan is your top horse in Asia’s market, which will lead your business to step into a range of new scenarios with unfailing outcomes.


More reasons to consider setting up your business in the Japanese market: 


  1. Fast Company Registration Process : In 14 days, you can start your business in Japan; it can be cut to 4 days if you go for JETRO’s One-Stop Business Establishment center services.
  2. Efficient Service/Product Reach : Distribution of products or services across Japan is an easy task since it has a first-class, advanced infrastructure of telecommunications and transportation systems.
  3. Well-Educated Workforce : You’ll gain access to highly skilled and educated human resources that will help you thrive in such a detail-oriented, developed society since Japan has more than 780 universities. This shows how Japan respects education to the maximum extent, which results in a trustworthy workforce.
  4. Conscious Consumers : If you want to sell a costly high-value service or product in Japan, you are more likely to achieve success in Japan than any other place in the world, since Japanese people are inclined to favor quality over price.

What Challenges You May Encounter in the Japanese Market?

While it’s true that the Japanese market is an open opportunity to ambitious businesses, there are still potential roadblocks to your market expansion. Dealing with expected/unexpected challenges is a part of the job. So, before we discuss the importance of professional Japanese technical translation services, let’s explore some of the obstacles you’ll have to cross or deal with when deciding on the Japanese market. Here are some of the challenges that you will probably face in the Japanese market:


  • Fierce Competition: An open market doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s an unchallenging market. Local companies in Japan will make your life hard if you don’t plan and research properly ahead of time. Understanding your competition will help you survive and thrive in such a tight race. For instance, eBay is one of the brands that failed in Japan, where it lost against local competition due to insufficient understanding of the local market.
  • Demanding Customer Base : Even though a knowledgeable customer can come with benefits to your service/product, they also can be very demanding and picky, which will impact your strategy and the final presented product/service. In order to succeed in the Japanese market, you have to be flexible with the possibility of the need to redesign and develop your product to fit in with the Japanese customer. 
  • Low Job To Application Ratio : It means that the number of job seekers is lower than the job openings! In December 2021, Japan’s ratio was 1.15; it means that for every 100 job seekers, there are 115 job opportunities. Consequently, this will make the hiring process more challenging.
    Aging Population: According to Japan Times, the share of the aged people in Japan’s total population rose to 29.1% in 2021. This percentage is considered the highest worldwide. Accordingly, this will demand special attention to their pains and needs, which will be translated into a relevant product/service.


Japan Jobs To Applications Ratio December 2021

  • Communication Difficulties : If you don’t speak basic Japanese, you’ll find difficulties embarking and continuing business in Japan. Depending on English only will put you in trouble dealing with and fulfilling the everyday business requirements since few Japanese business professionals speak good English. According to FP, less than 30% of Japanese people speak English of any level.
  • Japanese Technology Market Penetration Barriers :
  • Whether you’re in the manufacturing industry, telecommunication, or any other technology-related field, you should be aware that entering these industries in Japan is much more complicated than you think. It requires a deep industry understanding to convey accurate terminology and jargon usage, which draws your attention to the importance of the Japanese technical translation services.

    From installation and user manuals to business agreements and registration documents and more, you need professional technical translations to streamline your supply chain management and legal compliance in the Japanese territory. Otherwise, you may risk the delay of your production workflows or even getting banned from having your business license. 
Refer to whitepaper part
A Checklist for a Powerful Japanese Market Entry Approach!

Be ready to make a grand entrance in Japan, counting on AsiaLocalize’s expertise! 

Foreign Companies Failed in Japan

The Reasons Behind Vodafone Failure in Japan’s market

The insufficient market understanding was the case with Vodafone in Japan. Vodafone failed to provide its customers with:

  1. Sufficient network coverage and quality due to its low budget investment in the network infrastructure; even it failed to introduce the 3G services in Japan!
  2. The mobile phone handsets that the Japanese people prefer, so they turned to their competitors, NTT-DoCoMo, KDDI/au, and others!


It is a striking example of short-sighted Japanese localization approaches. Vodafone failed to embrace and understand the Japanese mindset in a way that translated into its wise actions and services.


It is noteworthy that SoftBank, a leading Japanese Internet conglomerate company, succeeded in turning the situation around after six months of acquiring Vodafone Japan, working on the weaknesses of Vodafone and filling the gaps that have been identified.


How To Avoid Other Businesses Mistakes?

Planning is your best bet in this game! There is nowhere to turn if you pin all your hopes on an unorganized, unsystematized approach – assuming scenarios in Japan will take you to a dead-end. There will always be surprises along the way! And, there will always be giants in the local Japanese market that are prepared to fight you with all their strengths and take you down for the slightest mistake. So, being able to anticipate what’s coming based on facts and research can make the difference between a successful practice or failed one. You also can have an experienced consulting company by your side to ensure that you are on the right path. Also, don’t overlook the Japanese translation and localization phase. Communicate with your Japanese customers optimally by letting your service/product speak the Japanese language. 


Take your time to comprehend what’s happening in the real world!


Why Is It So Important To Invest in Professional Japanese Technical Translation Services?

You have to respect the idea of spending money on quality to reach your target internationally, especially in Japan. As mentioned above, Japanese people may choose to spend a fortune on high-quality products or services. However, they’re not impulsive or naive. They have to believe in your product or service to go for it. And this won’t happen if it’s not in their own language. The reason why you’ll need professional Japanese translations.


Conducting Professional Translation Services in fast turnaround times is your guaranteed passage to Japan!


Amateur Japanese translation services will leave you, literally, empty-handed. There are two results or different scenarios you’ll end up with if you choose the unprofessional translation approach. In the best case, you’ll have to start the whole translation process again, whether it is, for example, a Japanese website localization/translation project or Japanese document translation; in the worst case, you may have to deal with lawsuits. 


The Japanese language is complicated; it requires special attention and a high level of linguistic capabilities and cultural understanding. Here are some of the challenges that the unskilled translator will fail to face:

  • To choose the right Japanese writing system for the context! 
  • To understand the difference between Japanese dialects and the cultural nuances according to the different regions in Japan!
  • To convey the message and content accurately with surpassing subject-matter expertise. 

Since Japan is one of the top leaders in the manufacturing industry, especially in electronics, machine tools, automobiles, ships, optical and precision equipment, you can grasp the idea behind the need for Japanese technical translation services. Japan produces 25% of the world’s high-tech products and 30% of the world’s cars. There is no room for error when we think about technical terms and translation services for technical documents. Meticulousness and accuracy are vital to attracting customers in an industry such as manufacturing.

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