Support Program for Translation and  Publication on Japan

This program is designed to provide financial support for foreign publishers to translate and/or publish Japan-related books. The grant shall cover part of the translation cost and/or publishing costs (paper costs, plate-making costs, printing costs, binding costs, 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 promote better understanding of Japanese culture and Japanese studies abroad.

Overseas publishers (corporations). Domestic publishers (corporations) within Japan may also apply, only if there is a written contract/agreement with foreign book distribution companies.

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

(1) The translated book must be published between April 20, 2019, and February 29, 2020. However, in the case of an application for only the “translation grant,” the publishing deadline is within two years after the completion of the translated manuscript.

 *The grantee shall acknowledge the Foundation’s financial support in a prominent place in the book, such as the copyright page. Since notification of results will be in late April 2019, applicants planning to publish the book in April or May should consult with the Japan Foundation overseas office or Embassies and Consulates-General before start printing.

(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 book. (Retranslations of works already translated into another language will only be considered for applications from countries where the number of translators is limited.)

(4) The copyright arrangements concerning the original book (and retranslation book, if any) 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.

*The following projects are not eligible:
(1) Periodicals, special issues, proceedings, exhibition catalogues, guidebooks, pamphlets, language dictionaries, and Japanese-language teaching materials, etc.;

(2) Books originally published in a foreign language;

(3) Works not expected to secure wide distribution, including those to be donated for free;

(4) Projects for which the translator’s fee is paid by royalties;

(5) Reprints of books; and

(6) Works already appeared as a self-published book or magazine or on a website, etc.

Grant Coverage 
Part of the following costs incurred and paid between April 1, 2019, and February 29, 2020:

(1) Translation fee (paid to translators);

(2) Production costs (paid to printing companies, such as costs for paper, plate-making, printing, binding, etc.).

*Please note that only the expenses paid after April 1, 2019, are applicable. Any expenses paid before April 1, 2019, are not applicable.
*Applicants may apply for “translation only,” “publication only,” or “translation and publication.”
*Grant payments will be made after the completion of the project.
*The average amount of assistance for FY 2018 is 550,000 yen.
*Editing costs, copyright clearance costs, design layout costs, shipping costs, proofreading costs, etc., are not applicable.
*Grant applications for support in translation costs for e-books are also accepted.
*Applicants cannot reapply for projects that were rejected in the past without a new plan and revised translation.

Number of Grants for FY 2018
21 out of 63 applications

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

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

(3) A relatively higher evaluation will be given to the translation and/or publication of the following books:

a. A book that is considered to have a wide influence on society; not only limited to researchers but available to a wide range of readers in the applicant’s country;
b. A book by an author who has never been introduced in the applicant’s country before; and
c. A book of direct translation from a Japanese book in the area where books on Japan are rarely published.

Application Deadline
November 20, 2018 CLOSED

Notification of Results
April 2019 

Please note that the Japan Foundation will give priority to the titles in the “List of Recommended Works” in determining the grant. The list, “Worth Sharing - A Selection of Japanese Books Recommended for Translation,” is available on the Japan Foundation’s website:

Application Instruction / Application Form
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