Japanese court interpreters under pressure

I recently saw an article in the online newspaper The Japan Times that I thought might interest you. Prosecutors in Japan have started video-recording interrogations. Those readers that have done recorded depositions (for example for American lawyers) will be familiar with the added stress, but in this case, due to camera directions, there is also a possibility that the interpreter’s face will appear in the video.

The article discusses how the interpreters are having sleeping problems and are obviously even more concerned than usual about any possible inaccuracies. The move to record interrogations followed a cover-up in Osaka and an evidence-tampering scandal. The recordings are not yet used in every case, but are common for special investigations and cases leading to a lay judge trial (see this post for details about Professor Okawara and Professor Hotta’s projects involving the new lay judge system).

Court interpreters, have you ever been recorded? Lawyers, if you have been involved in a recorded session with an interpreter, how did you handle it?

By the way, WordPress had a funny moment this morning. It published half of a post on the Brussels Translation Days which is due out tomorrow. Sorry if you were sent it by mistake.

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