Advertisement

Judgments on Court Interpreting in Japan: Ideologies and Practice

  • Ikuko NakaneEmail author
  • Makiko Mizuno
Article
  • 42 Downloads

Abstract

Japan saw a sharp increase in the number of non-Japanese residents and migrants during the period of its high economic growth in the 1980s and 1990s. This impacted on how the justice system provides language assistance to non-Japanese speaking background parties in investigative interviews and courtroom proceedings. While the number of defendants who received interpreter assistance in Japanese criminal trials hit its peak in 2003, quality of legal interpreting is still a serious issue. In this article, we discuss how the Japanese criminal justice system has approached issues in judicial interpreting in the last four decades by analysing how “court interpreting” and “court interpreters” have been represented in court decisions. By doing so, the paper aims to explore the judiciary’s ideologies about court interpreting and problematise these ideologies in looking towards improvement of language assistance in the Japanese legal system.

Keywords

Court interpreting Language ideology Metadiscourse Police interpreting 

Notes

References

  1. 1.
    Ministry of Justice. 2004. White Paper on Crime. Accessed 25 October, 2016. http://hakusyo1.moj.go.jp/jp/48/nfm/n_48_2_1_2_2_4.html.
  2. 2.
    Supreme Court of Japan. 2016. Gozonjidesuka Hōtei Tsūyaku [Do You Know about Court Interpreting?]. Accessed 25 October, 2016. http://www.courts.go.jp/vcms_lf/h28.1ban-gozonji.pdf.
  3. 3.
    Nakamura, S. 2013. Benīsu jiken ni okeru tsūyaku no mondaiten [Issues of interpreting in the Bernice Case]. Hō to Gengo [Language and Law] 1: 27–37.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Berk-Seligson, S. 1990. The Bilingual courtroom: Court interpreters in the judicial process. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Leung, E.S.M., and J. Gibbons. 2008. Who is responsible? Participant roles in legal interpreting cases. Multilingua 27: 177–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hale, S. 2004. The discourse of court interpreting. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lee, J. 2011. Translatability of speech style in court interpreting. The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law 18 (1): 1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mizuno, M. 2015. Hantai jinmon de hōritsuka ga tayō suru shūjoshi ‘ne’ no eigo tsūyaku ni tsuite [The sentence-ending particle Ne used by lawyers in cross-examination and its English interpretation]. Hō to Gengo [Language and Law] 2: 85–105.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hale, S., and J. Gibbons. 1999. Varying realities: Patterned changes in the interpreter’s representation of courtroom and external realities. Applied Linguistics 20 (2): 203–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    O’Barr, W.M. 1982. Linguistic evidence: Language power and strategy in the courtroom. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Conley, J.M., and W.M. O’Barr. 2005. Just words: Law, language and power, 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hale, S. 2010. Court interpreting: The need to raise the bar: Court interpreters as specialized experts. In The Routledge handbook of forensic linguistics, ed. M. Coulthard and A. Johnson, 440–469. Abingtdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tiersma, P.M. 1999. Legal language. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gibbons, J. 2003. Forensic linguistics: An introduction to language in the justice system, vol. 32, 1st ed. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    The Constitution of Japan, Article 31, Translation: Japan law translation. Accessed 25 October, 2016. http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/?re=02.
  16. 16.
    Hanrei Jihō, 1992. 140–146: Tokyo High Court, July 20, 1992.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hanrei Jihō, 1992. 140–146: Tokyo High Court, April 8, 1992.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hanrei Taimuzu, 284–287: Tokyo High Court, November 11, 1994.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gumperz, J. 1982. Fact and inference in courtroom testimony. In Language and social identity, ed. J. Gumperz, 163–195. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pavlenko, A. 2008. “I’m very not about the law part”: Nonnative speakers of English and the Miranda warnings. TESOL Quarterly 42 (1): 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Oda, W. 2014. Shihō tsūyaku to tsūyaku gengo no sentaku ni kansuru ichikōsatsu: kango hōgen ni kansuru hanrei tō o sozai toshite [A study on legal interpretation and selection of source language: based on cases with Chinese dialects]. Chuo University Jinbunken Kiyō 79: 63–116.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yomiuri Shinbun. 2011. Kakuseizai mitsuyu mata zenmen muzai [Another acquittal in a drug importation case]. January 25, p. 35.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Fukami, F. 1999. Tsūyaku no Hitsuyō wa Arimasen: Dōgo Tai josei satsujin jiken saiban no kiroku [There is no need for interpreting: A record of a thai woman’s murder trial in Dōgo]. Matsuyama: Sōfūsha.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Takamatsu High Court, March 3, 1998. In Fukami. 1999.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Nagao, H. 2005. Tai josei ni yoru satsujin jiken: hōtei tsūyakunin no jittai [A murder case of a Thai woman: realities of court interpreters]. Joseigaku Hyōron [Women’s Studies Review] 19: 51–65.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Asahi Shinbun 1996. Hikoku no kyōjutsu tutawaranai: Matsuyama, Tai josei satsujin saiban [Defendant’s statement is not communicated: Thai woman’s murder case trial in Matsuyama]. October 29, p. 29.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Angermeyer, P.S. 2015. Speak english or what? Codeswitching and interpreter use in New York City Courts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ministry of Justice Criminal Affairs Bureau. 1994. Gaikokujin Saiban Hanreishū [Court Reports on Foreigner Cases] 12–13 Tokyo High Court, May 23, 1991. Tokyo: Hōsōkai.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hanrei Taimuzu. 1994. 284–287 Tokyo High Court, November 1, 1994.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Watanabe, O. 2012. Saiban-in saiban to “goyaku enzai”: Garusupaha Benīsu jiken [Lay judge trial and “wrongful conviction due to misinterpretation”: Bernice Gerspacher Case]. In Mitsui Makoto Sensei Koki Shukuga Ronbunshū [Essays to Celebrate Professor Makoto Mitsui’s 70th Birthday], ed. M. Inoue and T. Sakamaki, 725–750. Tokyo: Yūhikaku.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Hanrei Taimuzu. 1994. 284–287, Tokyo High Court, November 11, 1994.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hanrei Jihō. 1991. 143–153, Osaka High Court, November 19, 1991.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hanrei Jihō. 1983. 159–162, Osaka District Court, January 28. 1983.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Hanrei Taimuzu, 249–254, Osaka High Court, November 10, 1989.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Hanrei Jihō, 132–153, Tokyo High Court, July 16, 1996.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Heffer, C., F. Rock, and J. Conley (eds.). 2013. Lay-legal communication: textual travels in the law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Grice, P.H. 1975. Logic and conversation. In Speech acts, ed. P. Cole and J. Morgan, 41–58. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Wadensjö, C. 1998. Interpreting as interaction. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Supreme Court of Japan. 1990. Hōtei Tsūyaku Gaidobukku [Guidebook for Court Interpreters] Tokyo: Hōsōkai.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Tokyo High Court, October 27, 2005.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Tokyo High Court, September 22, 1998.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Supreme Court of Japan. 1996. Tokushu Keiji Jiken no Kiso Chishiki: gaikokujin jiken hen [Basic Knowledge of Specialised Criminal Cases] Tokyo: Hōsōkai.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Ministry of Justice Criminal Affairs Bureau. 1994. Gaikokujin Saiban Hanreishū [Court Reports on Foreigner Cases] 9 Akita District Court, May 1, 1991. Tokyo: Hōsōkai.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Hanrei Taimuzu. 1999. 284–302, Sapporo District Court, March 29, 1999.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Mizuno, M. 2008. Nick Baker case: The challenges encountered in improving the quality control of legal interpretation in Japan. Kinjō Gakuin Daigaku Ronshū [Studies in Social Sciences] 5 (1): 34–41.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Yomiuri Shinbun. 2016. Jakaruta jiken shōgen goyaku [Misinterpretation of testimony in the Jakarta Case]. October 28, p. 35.Google Scholar

Cases Cited

  1. 47.
    Case 1, Osaka District Court, January 28, 1983. 1989 Hanrei Jihō 159–162.Google Scholar
  2. 48.
    Case 2, Osaka High Court, Nov. 10, 1989. 729 Hanrei Taimuzu 249–254.Google Scholar
  3. 49.
    Case 3, Akita District Court, May 1, 1991. Gaikokujin Hanzai Saiban Reishū 1994: 9.Google Scholar
  4. 50.
    Case 4, Tokyo High Court, May 23, 1991. Gaikokujin Saiban Hanreishū 1994: 12–13.Google Scholar
  5. 51.
    Case 5, Osaka High Court, Nov. 19, 1991. 1436 Hanrei Jihō 143–153.Google Scholar
  6. 52.
    Case 6, Tokyo High Court April 8, 1992. 1434 Hanrei Jihō 140–146.Google Scholar
  7. 53.
    Case 7, Tokyo High Court July 20, 1992. 1434 Hanrei Jihō 140–146.Google Scholar
  8. 54.
    Case 8, Tokyo High Court Nov. 1, 1994. 890 Hanrei Taimuzu 284–287.Google Scholar
  9. 55.
    Case 9, Tokyo High Court, July 16, 1996. 1591 Hanrei Jihō 132–153.Google Scholar
  10. 56.
    Case 10, Takamatsu High Court, March 3, 1998. See Fukami (1999) above.Google Scholar
  11. 57.
    Case 11, Tokyo High Court, Sept. 22, 1998. 49(1) Tōkyō Kōtō Saibansho Keiji Hanketsu Jihō 53. .Google Scholar
  12. 58.
    Case 12, Sapporo District Court, March 29, 1999.1050 Hanrei Taimuzu, 284–302.Google Scholar
  13. 59.
    Case 13, Tokyo High Court, October 27, 2005. See Mizuno (2008) above.Google Scholar
  14. 60.
    Case 14, Osaka High Court, October 22, 2010. See Watanabe (2012) above.Google Scholar
  15. 61.
    Case 15, Tokyo District Court, January 24, 2011. TKC document number 25471397.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Kinjo Gakuin UniversityNagoyaJapan

Personalised recommendations