Support Program for Translation and  Publication on Japan

This program is designed to provide financial support for foreign publishers intending to translate and/or publish books originally written in Japanese. The grant covers part of the translation cost and/or publishing costs (costs for paper, platemaking, printing, binding, etc.). By enabling the reduction of the selling price, and thus making books more accessible to the general public, especially books that are difficult to publish commercially, the program aims to foster better understanding of Japanese culture and to promote Japanese studies abroad.

Applicants may apply either for "translation only," "publication only," or "translation and publication."

Publishers (corporations) outside Japan. Publishers (corporations) in Japan may also apply, provided that they guarantee distribution outside Japan, e.g., by way of a written contract/agreement with foreign book distribution companies.

Eligible Projects
Translation and/or publication projects of Japan-related books in the fields of humanities, social sciences, or arts originally written in Japanese, which fulfill all of the following requirements:

(1) The translated book must be published between April 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021. However, in the case of an application for only the "translation grant," the publishing deadline is within two years after the completion of the translation.

(2) The original book written in Japanese must already be published at the time of application.

(3) In principle, translations must be made directly from the original books. (Retranslations of works already translated into another language will only be considered for applications from countries where the number of Japanese translators is limited.)

(4) The copyright arrangements concerning the original book (and original translation in case of retranslation) must already be completed. As for the translation fee, a written contract between the publisher and the translator must already be concluded.

(5) A part of the draft of the translation should be completed by the time of application. It is necessary to submit a sample of the translation about 30 pages long.

(6) The plan and method of implementation must be appropriate and there must be ample expectations that they will yield good result.

(7) Projects must not be used for religious or political purposes.
*Grant applications for e-books are accepted but coverage is restricted to translation costs.
*The following categories of works are not eligible:
  ・Periodicals (including special issues), proceedings, exhibition catalogues, guidebooks, pamphlets, language dictionaries, and Japanese language teaching materials, etc.;
  ・Books originally published in a foreign language;
  ・Works not expected to secure wide distribution, including those to be donated for free;
  ・Projects for which the translator's fee is paid by royalties;
  ・Reprints of books; and
  ・Translations already made public, including as a self-published book or a magazine or on a website, etc.
*Applicants cannot reapply for projects that were rejected in the past without a new plan and/or revised translation.

Grant Coverage
Part of the following costs incurred and paid between April 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021:

(1) Translation fee (paid to translators by the applicants);

(2) Production costs (paid to printing companies, such as costs for paper, plate-making, printing, binding, etc.).
*Please note that only the expenses paid on and after April 1, 2020 are applicable. Any expenses paid before April 1, 2020 are not applicable.
*Grant payments will be made after the completion of the project.
*Editing costs, copyright clearance costs, design layout costs, shipping costs, proofreading costs, etc., are not applicable.

Number and the average amount of assistance of Grants (Reference)
Number of assistance: 20 out of 57 applications for FY 2019
Average amount of assistance for FY 2019: 570,000 yen

Selection Policy
(1) See p. 3 for the selection policy common to all programs.

(2) Screening will be conducted after consulting with experts in the field.

(3) Relatively higher evaluation will be given to the translation and/or publication of the following books:
a. The titles in "Worth Sharing - A Selection of Japanese Books Recommended for Translation," which is available on the Japan Foundation's website:
b. A book that is considered to have a wide influence on society; not only limited to researchers but expected to get a wide range of readers in the applicant's country;
c. A book by an author who has never been introduced in the applicant's country before; and
d. A book of direct translation from a Japanese book in the area where books on Japan are rarely published.

Application Deadline
November 20, 2019 CLOSED

Notification of Results
Late April 2020 

Application Instruction / Application Form
Download files (ZIP)(Contents of ZIP file: Word)
Download files (PDF)