Interpreter-Mediated Mock Trial Held at TUFS

February 22, 2018

On Thursday the 23rd of November, TUFS held an 'Interpreter-Mediated Mock Trial' (hosted by the TUFS Center for Multilingual Multicultural Education and Research in collaboration with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office). With the growing number of expatriates in Japan, there is more and more demand for legal interpreting in judicial situations, such as at trials or interrogations. This event was held to raise awareness about the importance of legal interpretation. In the mock trial, TUFS graduates as well as graduates of the Open Academy, who are registered as TUFS Language and Culture Supporters, served as interpreters, and a prosecutor provided commentary on how a trial would be conducted when a non-Japanese native is involved.

In a follow-up questionnaire, most of the participants answered that the event was "helpful" and that it "sparked [their] interest in legal interpretation". There were also comments such as, "legal interpretation seemed less of a distant concept", and, "it was easy to understand the role of the interpreter in court." The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office and the TUFS Center for Multilingual Multicultural Education and Research concluded a memorandum for collaboration and cooperation in April 2017, which among other things made it possible for this event to be held.
This event was picked up by many media outlets, and attracted many participants.


  • Defendant (character setting: native English speaker): TUFS graduate
  • Victim (character setting: native Chinese speaker): TUFS exchange student
  • Interpreters (Two English-speakers and two Chinese-speakers): TUFS Language and Culture Supporters
    (TUFS alumni and graduates of the Open Academy)
  • Police officers, prosecutors, attorneys and judge: Prosecutors from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office
  • Review: Lecturer Minoru Naito (Graduate School of Global Studies, researcher in Community Interpreting)

The event was so popular that some guests had to stand

Review by TUFS' Dr. Naito