This program is designed to provide partial financial support for overseas publishers intending to translate and/or publish books originally written in Japanese. The program aims to foster better understanding of Japan by encouraging overseas publishers to translate and publish Japanese books. The grant covers part of the translation cost and/or publishing costs (e.g., costs for paper, typesetting, plate-making, printing, and binding).
Applicants may apply for one of the following categories: "translation only," "publication only," or "translation and publication."
Publishers (corporations) outside of Japan
Translation and/or publication projects of books in the fields of humanities, social sciences, or arts that were written in Japanese and already published. The projects must fulfill all of the following requirements:
(1) The translated book must be published between April 1, 2021, and February 28, 2022. However, for the "translation only" grant applicants, 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. Indirect translations of Japanese books (translations from foreign language editions of Japanese books) will only be considered for applications from countries where there is a lack of translators.
(4) Permission for translating the original book (and the translated edition of the book from which a new translation is made, in case of indirect translation) must already be obtained. As for the translation fee, a written contract between the publisher and the translator must already be concluded. It is necessary to submit copies of the contract for the application.
(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 results.
(7) Projects must not be used for religious or political purposes.
*Grant applications for digital publication projects are accepted.
*The following categories of works are not eligible:
・Books originally not written in Japanese;
・Translations already made public, including as a self-published book or a magazine or on a website. Reprints of out-of-print books;
・Periodicals (including special issues), proceedings, exhibition catalogues, guidebooks, pamphlets, language dictionaries, and Japanese language teaching materials;
・Works not expected to secure wide distribution, including those only to be donated for free;
・Projects for which the translator's fee is not paid by the time the book is published;
*Applicants cannot reapply for projects that were rejected in the past without a new plan and/or revised translation.
Part of the following costs incurred and paid between April 1, 2021, and February 28, 2022:
(1) Translation fee (paid to a translator by an applicant);
(2) Production costs (paid to a printing company and others, such as costs for paper, typesetting/plate-making, printing, and binding).
*A copy of the contract between the translator and applicant, as well as estimates for the costs that the applicant intends to cover by the grant, from the printing company or others, will be requested at the time of application. Receipts from the translator, printing company and others will be needed at the moment of payment of the grant after publishing the book.
*Please note that only the expenses paid on and after April 1, 2021, are applicable. Any expenses paid before April 1, 2021, are not applicable.
*The grant shall respectively cover 25-80% of the translation fee and the production costs mentioned above.
*Costs for editing, acquisition of translation rights, copyright clearance, design layout, shipping, proofreading, and other in-house expenses are not applicable.
*Grant payments will be made after the completion of the project.
*The grant should not cover any part of the project expense(s) funded by other organizations.
Number and the average amount of assistance of Grants (Reference)
Number of assistance: 37 out of 58 applications for FY 2020
Average amount of assistance for FY 2020: 390,000 yen
(1) See p. 3 of PROGRAM GUIDELINES 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. The list of the titles 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.
e. The grant amount will be determined by the Japan Foundation based on the project plan.
November 20, 2020 CLOSED
Notification of Results
Late April 2021