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Medical Interpreter Education in Japan: History, Current Status and Prospects

Naoko Ono 1

1Juntendo University

Accredited

ABSTRACT

There is a growing need to speak English in medical settings in Japan, especially as Tokyo has been selected as the host city of the 2020 Summer Olympics. The objective of this paper is to explore the current status of medical interpreter education in Japan and to detail future directions based on the analysis. A literature review was conducted using three databases. In addition, we searched the internet for Japanese organizations that train medical interpreters, and accessed their publications. Our findings suggest that future educational system for medical interpretations may require: (1) a training system to raise awareness of medical interpreters as active participants of conversation, (2) multi-layered national education systems and corresponding training manuals, and (3) a national accredited licensing system. The working environment for medical interpreters in Japan is currently under development and further preparation is needed. The review shows that more educational programs are being developed by both the government and private sector, and the inclusion of evidence-based curricula is a key focus. These developments should ensure that three of the greatest challenges to medical interpreting in Japan will be addressed by 2020.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.