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Honyaku Kotohajime No. 62: "Partnership Facilitation"
The Anatomy of Self: The Individual versus Society
Our New Employee

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Greeting from president

I haven't written and sent a "Honyaku Talk" newsletter to you for a long time. In fact, this is the first gHonyaku Talkh newsletter for 2008. I have much to update you on, including my recent activities as well as upcoming events and our schedule here at Pacific Dreams, Inc.

I visited Japan last month to give a presentation titled gThe Latest Internet Marketing Applications and Translation Business in the US.h The presentation, held on June 12 at the Honyaku Kaikan in Akasaka, Tokyo, was part of a monthly series of seminars held by the Japan Translation Federation (JTF), and I was a selected speaker for the June session. Despite the pouring rain on that day?typical for that time of year in Japan?almost 40 people, mostly the presidents and managers of translation companies, showed up for the seminar. Fortunately, the event was very successful due to the timely and popular business topics that were dealt with.

During my stay in Japan I also attended two business networking sessions in Shibuya, Tokyo. I found that a business gathering or networking opportunity occurs almost every week in downtown Tokyo. The themes of these events are cross-industry networking and business/social events. For each session, probably about 50 people were present in the small, poorly air-conditioned conference room. Even though the admission fee was approximately $25, no food was provided, and the event was held in a room of an old office building. I was a bit surprised to see that the gathering took place in such poor conditions; however it is apparently continuously very successful and valuable, particularly for the companies who organize and host these networking sessions almost every week.

During my stay in Japan, I traveled to Niigata and Osaka from Tokyo on the Shinkansen, known as the gbullet trainh and capable of traveling at almost 160 miles per hour. I enjoyed eating the bento box meals sold at railway stations while on the train, something I miss when traveling in the US. I was also treated to a magnificent view of the beautiful scenery around Mt. Fuji at Mishima Station, between Tokyo and Osaka.

One special thing I would like to share was learned during a visit to a major Japanese electric company to discuss their new facility-development plan for Oregon. This company has finalized a decision to build a new manufacturing facility in this state in the second half of 2009. No official announcement to the media or public has been made yet, so I cannot give any further details. I can say, however, that this could lead to excellent business opportunities and positive economic impacts for us here in Oregon.

During my time at the JTF event, I was also able to meet the owner and president of a translation company located in Tokyo. Our two companies have made a partnership agreement, effectively starting this month, to reinforce each otherfs fields of expertise in translation, and we will issue a press release via our website in the near future to announce this joint partnership. Our partner companyfs translation strength and expertise is in patents, dissertations, and scientific papers. We at Pacific Dreams are excited about this new partnership and the opportunities that it will create.

Lastly, we will soon release a schedule for the updated seminar gBuilding Bridges between the USA and Japan: Looking at Changes from Traditional to Contemporary in Japan.h Based on requests from previous seminar participants, we are adding information about current changes and trends in Japanese business and society to this popular seminar. My recent business trip to Japan has been a valuable resource in adding and developing the new material.

Have a delightful and safe summer,

Ken Sakai
President
kenfsakai@pacificdreams.org

 

   
 

Ken Sakai
President


"Honyaku Kotohajime" (Beginnings of Translation) - No. 61
"Partnership Facilitation"

As you may know if you are in the translation industry, more and more M&As (mergers and acquisitions) have been taking place recently. Large translation/localization companies are acquiring local translation companies and translation-software companies, thereby increasing their global presence and acquiring a higher market share. I have observed that several public companies in Japan are exposed to M&As by US investment funds, which have become major share holders. However, most Japanese companies usually have an gallergic reactionh in this type of situation, with boards of directors working hard to create defense plans against such approaches from overseas companies, particularly US capital investment firms.

In fact, due to significant corporate cultural differences, international M&A projects meet with little success. Particularly between companies from the US and Japan, chances are extremely slim that an M&A will be successful, due to vast differences in both culture and language. Because of this, I do not usually recommend attempting a merger with a US corporation to Japanese clients. (One of the few examples of a successful Japanese/American corporate merger has been Bridgestonefs acquisition of Firestone many years ago.)

Last year, one of biggest M&As in history, between Daimler-Benz and Chrysler, dissolved when the Chrysler division was sold to US capital investment fund Cerberus Capital Management. According to some media reports, from the time of the M&A in 1998, these two substantially different corporate cultures never blended harmoniously. For instance, Chrysler employees would work from early morning and leave for home at 5:00 p.m., while Daimler employees would come to work a bit later and stay into the evening, sometimes enjoying business dinners over glasses of wine. Chrysler employees would fly in economy class and stay at reasonably-priced hotels, but Daimler employees traveled first class, staying in suites at luxurious hotels or resorts. In this merger between a US company and a German company, corporate cultures would presumably be closer than those of companies from Japan and the US, but still the end result was a disappointing split.

I believe that making a partnership arrangement is a more realistic approach to linking companies in two different countries. In the US, gwin-winh agreements or solutions are often discussed in business. While I think that this is a worthy goal, it takes time to accomplish and almost always involves a much more complex process than the signing of an agreement. When beginning to discuss partnership opportunities, first both partners need to define mutual objectives and priorities. Then, while gradually developing joint-project opportunities and overcoming inevitable trials and errors, a real-world arrangement based on mutual commitment can be reached.

My wife and I founded Pacific Dreams, Inc. 16 years ago with the goal of acting as a bridge connecting two sides of the Pacific Ocean, and this founding mission has remained consistent for the last 16 years. Moreover, we continue to review and re-acknowledge that mission and what it means. We have developed several partnerships with semiconductor equipment and materials companies in the US as a translation provider. We continue to work with these clients to meet their translation needs and expectations with high-quality, time-effective work. However, it has not been easy to develop connections with other translation companies in the US and Japan. Because there are a great number of small translation companies in the US and Japan, I think that establishing partnerships between such organizations in these two countries is a valuable method for not only surviving, but also expanding the boundaries of all businesses involved.

Pacific Dreams, Inc. looks forward to facilitating the development of partnerships in a variety of industries. Through previous experience (including many lessons learned from failures), I have gained critical know-how about avoiding mistakes and keeping clients on the right track, and continue to work at expanding my knowledge of business and communications in the US and Japan. Our company is committed to utilizing our skills and knowledge in providing business facilitation services for companies seeking a partnership opportunity in either Japan or America.

 

Ken Sakai
President
E-mail: KenFSakai@pacificdreams.org

 

The Anatomy of Self: The Individual versus Society

By Takeo Doi, M.D. Translated by Mark A. Harbison
Kodansha International

Hailed as required reading for anyone seeking insight into the relationship between psychology and culture, or into the differences and similarities between Japanese and Americans, this book is a sequel to Doifs groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed work The Anatomy of Dependence, which was published in 1973 and has reached more than 100,000 non-Japanese readers.

The book revolves around two related pairs of concepts: omote/ura and tatemae/honne, which describe the Japanese perception of gpublich and gprivateh in interaction with others. The proper balance between these two aspects of the individual is essential in interpersonal communication in Japan, and a familiarity with them is central to understanding Japanese social relationships.

One of Japanfs foremost clinical psychiatrists, Doi draws on a variety of disciplines and source materials beyond psychology?including sociology, philosophy, literature, and religion?in his insightful analysis of a foundational aspect of Japanese society. Anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Japanese culture stands to benefit greatly from this book.

Now you can order gThe Anatomy of Self: The Individual versus Societyh (168 pages) for $28.95 US, plus $6.00 as shipping and handling. We can ship your order right away. To order, call us at 503-783-1390. You may also e-mail us at bookstore@pacificdreams.org.

 

 
 

Our New Employee

Keiko Nishiguchi Leonard

Keiko Nishiguchi Leonard, a native of Fukuoka, Japan, brings to Pacific Dreams not only competence in Japanese- and English-language communications, but also expertise in design and desktop publishing. A graduate of the Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Keiko worked for nine years as a page designer, copyeditor, and reporter in Japan before coming to the United States in January 2005, initially to work as an intern at The Daily News in Longview, Washington. She has been with Pacific Dreams as an in-house translator and proofreader since February 2008. In her free time she enjoys walks with her border collie McTarvish, and is also an amateur scuba diver.

Ben Riesenberg

Ben Riesenberg has been with Pacific Dreams as an in-house proofreader and translator since March 2008, and has been studying and working with the Japanese language since 1994, when he took his first Japanese class while in high school. After visiting Japan and studying abroad, as well as living in Hiroshima City from 2003 to 2006, he decided to make a move to Portland from his native Missouri. His experience includes two years serving as a translator for the City of Hiroshima International Relations Division, and his goal at Pacific Dreams is to use this valuable experience, as well as his many yearsf study of the Japanese language, to provide exceptional translation and proofreading services to clients. In his free time, he feels lucky to be able to enjoy the outdoor recreation and cultural attractions that Portland and the region have to offer.

For more information, contact:

Pacific Dreams, Inc.
25260 SW Parkway Avenue
Wilsonville, OR 97070 USA

TEL: 503-783-1390
FAX: 503-783-1391

 


Pacific Dreams, Inc.
25260 SW Parkway Avenue, Suite D
Wilsonville, OR 97070

TEL: 503-783-1390
FAX: 503-783-1391


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