Endorsements from clients (in the legal field)
I would like to take this opportunity to express a few words of appreciation.
I’m truly touched that the following wonderful clients have agreed to write a few words of recommendation, and also grateful that so many clients trust us that we will get their confidential documents translated accurately and quickly. My team and I have learnt so much along the way and hope to further improve the quality of our services.
We look forward to working with you in the future.
Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan
Since translation work involves carefully considering how to craft the words to reach the target audience, it isn’t just about getting the correct sentence structure, but also about conveying the real substance of the text (which may even have to be achieved by adding a bit of humour), and if the writer of the original text has spent hours crafting what they would like to say, it stands to reason that there is a fair amount of pressure on the translator to get it right. Moreover, when it comes to translations in the field of law, that pressure is even greater, especially since legal professionals are sticklers when it comes to legal expressions. It seems that overcoming such pressure without fail is actually the key point of translation work.
Ms. Mina Shibahara, not only speaks both Japanese and English fluently, but also continues to hone her intellectual and rich cultural sensibilities, displays a gentle sensitivity towards both cultures and diligently manages to overcome the pressure involved in translation. She participated as an expert in a project entitled “English Translation of Japanese Laws” which had been prolonged for many years due to the difficulties involved in its implementation. She supported the painstaking work of compiling a dictionary, and played a major role in ensuring its progress, which I believe added to her accomplishments in the legal field.
Mina told me one day that translating the Companies Act was immensely useful because it was while translating the procedures involved that it occurred to her that she now knew how to establish her own company. As one of her long-time clients and friends, I am sure that she will meet many more clients in the course of her career who will be equally impressed by her straight-talking candor.
Former Prosecutor-General, Supreme Public Prosecutors Office of Japan
The Ministry of Justice was formerly only concerned with domestic affairs. That changed when foreign attorneys started to work in Japan and also through a rapid wave of globalization. What the Ministry needed was an interpreter and translator, whose native tongue was English, because otherwise the official documents, dialogues and correspondence tended to be in the form of literal translations, which didn’t convey the true intent to the target audience. At the same time, it was crucial that the interpreter have an understanding of the “cultural sensibilities of Japanese people”. This is why, at the Ministry of Justice, we were delighted with Ms Shibahara whose communication skills uniquely combined bicultural understanding and linguistic proficiency.
We had been writing about the Japanese Companies Act for the International Encyclopedia of Laws published by the Dutch publisher Kluwer Law International for over 20 years, but with the enactment of the Companies Act in 2006, there was a need for a complete rewrite. When I asked Ms Shibahara to translate the paper, she completed it in accurate English in record time. Based on this, Professor Yasuhiro Kawaguchi and the attorney, Mr. Takayuki Kihira edited the translation. I find it extremely reassuring to have a translator like Ms Shibahara to call on when explaining Japanese law to other countries.
President of the Japan Law Foundation / Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo / Professor, Waseda University / Attorney
When a group of legal scholars made a draft amendment for the revision of the Civil Code, I thought it prudent to show other countries what we planned to do. Ms Shibahara did an excellent job of translating the draft text, which required expertise in legal English. Subsequently, Ms Shibahara translated reports to be presented at international symposia and papers to be published in foreign law journals. Ms Shibahara’s English skills, which combine expertise in legal English and elegant expressiveness in conveying the substance of the text, form an indispensable intellectual tool when publishing Japanese papers in the legal field.
Editorial Advisor of Rironsha Co., Ltd., former Deputy General Manager of the Media Bureau, Kyodo News
At the end of the Meiji era, Mori Ogai wrote, “The times require scholars who stand with one foot each in the cultures of both the East and the West.” In other words, he emphasized the need to have someone who felt at home both in the East and the West. This can be said to apply now just as much as it did then. This balanced harmony is one of Ms Shibahara’s excellent qualities. There is a saying that one can have “inaccurate beauty” or “accurate ugliness”. The question arises as to whether the translated text should be inaccurate but eloquent, or inarticulate but accurate. Judged by those standards, I would say Ms Shibahara manages to achieve “accurate eloquence” which is why I do not hesitate to recommend her.
Vice-President and In-house Corporate Counsel of ITOCHU International, Inc.
As an in-house corporate counsel of ITOCHU International Inc., I am delighted to say that Mina is the only Japanese that I know who is truly bilingual. Her English is impeccable with a light British lilt. The fact that Mina’s expertise includes legal translations, makes her services invaluable to any law firm, company or university, or anyone else in need of translations from English into Japanese or Japanese into English. Since she is fluent in both languages, she is capable like no one to translate documents, legal or otherwise, not only accurately but with the precision both languages require. Mina’s professional and charming personality makes her a “go-to” translator.”