Thanks to everyone's continued support we managed to enter our 4th year in business on July 17. The very fact that we can approach our work enjoyably, correctly and in a fresh frame of mind even amid the continuing recession is in no small part thanks to everyone reading fun NOTE. Words cannot express how grateful we feel for everyone's continued support.

As a company that often helps to create public relations and marketing communications materials, I have recently got the impression that many companies are getting more and more proactive in getting their message across. At first glance, it is often thought that the production of internal and external company magazines, which are difficult to directly convert to sales, is the first area to feel the effects of cost reductions, but why is that not the case? There are two main reasons for this.

The first reason is that the range of stakeholders increases
In an age where the social responsibility of companies is often called into question, messages sent to ordinary people that appear at first glance to have little direct connection to the company are increasing. The content of these messages covers not only product and service introductions, but companies also increasingly seek to convey messages regarding where the companies efforts are focused and what they are aiming for. Employees are being seen as a type of stakeholder, with another characteristic being seen is the distribution of information via a company's intranet or mail or in printed form

The second reason is that in terms of information quality there has been a need to offer information presenting the company's true face from a point of view close to that of the stakeholder.
While the development of the Internet removed limitations related to place and time, face to face connection has waned rapidly. In a business environment where it is becoming increasingly important to win the trust of stakeholders, the media and methods used to connect with stakeholders are diversifying and changing by becoming more bi-directional. For example, with the spotlight currently being put on food safety, there is a trend to present the true face of food producers directly to the consumer, and as such, forms of expression are increasingly becoming more personalized.

At Arc, fun NOTE is one tool we use to combat these issues.
How will we continue to present to everyone the faces and the thoughts behind those working to offer our services from a variety of angles?
When considering this we decided upon introducing a new corner interviewing members of staff to present their true faces. We still have a lot of improvements to make to fun NOTE, but thanks to everyone's support it too has entered its fourth year of publication.

Arc Communications Inc.
Moriden Bldg. 7th Fl., 3-9-9 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
Phone +81-3-5730-6133 Fax +81-3-5730-6134

Here's an introduction of Arc Communication's services

[Translation] – English translation by English native translators, Japanese translation with an eye for quality-
Do you have a need for translations regarding International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)?
Many companies are opting to adopt IFRS, a set of international financial standards which were recently recognized for use in Japan. In response to this, our Translation Department has introduced a framework whereby translations related to IFRS, even large translations, or translation projects on a short schedule, can be completed in the shortest timeframe possible.
The high quality of translations made by our highly specialized translators has been widely praised by our clients. More information can be found here.
We look forward to hearing from you. More details here
[Web] – Cross media services with an emphasis on branding
Recently our Website Planning and Design team has increasingly received requests for proposals for website renewal work in conjunction with the creation of company brochures.
We at Arc Communications envisage the characteristics of the media format being used, where the end product will be used and many other aspects of media design, and make proposals based on the required function of the media being designed. For this reason, Arc Communications will never stoop to simply converting website design and text for use in a company brochure – a pattern that is often seen in cross media design to save costs. Even in spite of designing based on individual format requirements, design methods used by Arc are often praised for the ability to lower design times and costs and for the ease with which brand images can be integrated across media. We are on call to meet all your website and cross media needs. More details here
[Temporary Employment] – Temporary staffing experts for English, website design and technical writing
Arc Communications' Temporary Employment service is operated by experts specialized in temporary staffing for English, website design and technical writing related work. We offer "highly specialized human resources not available internally" in the form of translators, interpreters, website designers and coders, technical writers, editors and proofreaders.
Utilizing our strengths in translation and website planning and design, we offer highly flexible staffing services, whether it be for contract work or for temporary employment.
With the cooperation of the Translation team and the Website Planning & Design team we perform skill checks for each temporary staff member. For this reason, our ability to provide the ideal staff member for the job has been widely lauded.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you have a need for temporary staffing specializing in English, website design or technical writing. More details here
Arc Communications Inc.
Moriden Bldg. 7th Fl., 3-9-9 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
Phone +81-3-5730-6133 Fax +81-3-5730-6134



Arc Communications Staff Interview I – Justin Shuard

Justin Shuard

Justin speaks Japanese with a fluency and a naturalness that makes it hard to believe that he really is an English native speaker. Justin works as a language lead ensuring the quality of Japanese to English translations.
Let's take a closer look at the man behind the magic.

Working at Arc

――― Could you tell us a bit about the kind of work you do at Arc?
As a language lead in the Translation Department, I mainly check Japanese to English translations to ensure their quality.
Basically a language lead performs the final check on documents translated by a translator and works toward the standardization of translation quality.
――― Could you elaborate on what you mean by standardization?
Let's say for example you have several translators translating a lengthy passage of text. You are bound to have differences in quality and wording from translator to translator. I work to ensure that the translation reads as a unified text.
Everyone makes mistakes, which is why even when a translation is done by a single translator there are times when a translation may lag in quality. I systematically check files, directly making corrections to the final document to make sure there is no drop in quality.
An area that I pay particular attention to is whether or not the final translation reads back naturally to a native English speaker. In other words, rewriting the text to improve upon the level of English expression while also retaining the faithfulness of the text to the original Japanese.
I also give feedback and work with translators so that we can avoid past mistakes and have a hand in selecting new translators. I feel that ensuring the quality of Arc's translations is definitely important work and I take my job very seriously.
――― It's definitely a position full of expectations. Are you busy?
Pretty busy (laughs). But work comes and goes – I'm not flat out all the time.
Everyone around me is very supportive and while I'm sometimes swamped with work, it's great fun to work here. It's definitely a very rewarding position.

Before Coming to Japan

――― Where is your hometown?
Adelaide, a city in southern Australia.
While it's the fifth largest city in Australia, it's a quiet city that is easy to live in.
It was ranked in the top ten of The Economist's "World's Most Livable Cities"
――― When you majored in Japanese at university, was that your first experience with Japan?
It was when I first started to learn the language.
But before then, when I was 14, my family and I stopped over in Japan at the end of a family trip. I also visited America and England during that trip, but Japan had the biggest impact on me.
This was mainly because I could imagine what England and America would be like – that is, they weren't that different to Australia.
――― What did you study at university?
I majored in Japanese and film studies.
I started Japanese at university by learning the real basics, basic pronunciation and so forth, but by my third year we were writing essays and presenting speeches in Japanese on a wide variety of subjects including social problems etc.
In film studies we learned everything from film theory to production.
I even got a chance to make my own film. At the time I was really into Japanese chambara films, such as Seven Samurai and Yojimbo and Japanese horror films such as Ring. My graduate film, titled Satsujinken (literally The Sword that Kills – sorry for the grotesque name (laughs)) combined both of these influences. The story was based on the premise that “those who take possession of a ‘Muramasa' sword become possessed by evil spirits” and the film was made in both English and Japanese.
By doing this I managed to combine skills learnt in both my majors, and the entire filmmaking process, from planning down to filming and editing, was extremely enjoyable.
――― Then, your first job was…
In filmmaking.
I really wanted to visit Japan and after graduation I initially came to Japan on a Working Holiday visa, and found some volunteer work at local film production offices. But the path to becoming a pro in the film industry seemed extremely steep and so I decided to apply for jobs in the translation industry, where I could use both Japanese and English.

Private Life

――― How do you find Tokyo?
I find that there is a great balance between the old and the new in Tokyo. Aside from films and manga, I'm a great fan of Japanese popular culture, so Tokyo is a great place to live.
――― What do you do on your days off?
Going out with my girlfriend, going to the cinema, going to manga cafes and a lot more.
However it takes me too long to read manga so I don't really save a lot of money by going to a manga café! (laughs)
I love manga, so I prefer to buy my favorite manga as a single (tankobon) comic and read it at my own pace.
――― What are some of your favorite manga?
I especially like Berserk and Kaiji, but I enjoy a wide range of manga.
――― A lot of Japanese youths would agree with you!
I'm also a bit of a gamer. (laughs) I sometimes talk about gaming with fellow members of the translation team, but if anything there are more gamers on the web team.
――― And about the future…?
Personally I'd love to have the chance to translate something creative.
And I heard that Arc sometimes hold a DS tournament. I'd love to have a chance to participate!

Following the interview

Justin, who recently contributed greatly in ensuring that a large translation project land at Arc's feet. On another job his determination was on display, when he spent the weekend to complete a translation job. I was initially surprised upon hearing that he used to work on film sets as there is quite a gap between that and regular deskwork. However when considering the exquisite balance he portrays when working as a team member and his determination when going at it alone, I came to see that the skills he learnt on the film set were being put to full use!

Justin's Japanese abilities are so good that many staff question whether or not he can really speak English and his writing sense is also first class.
There is no doubting his creative abilities! I really want to see that film!


Justin Shuard
Joined Arc Communications in 2009. A member of the translation department, Justin's main focus is the quality management of Japanese to English translations.
A film student, Justin worked at a separate translation company before joining Arc Communications. "I hated having to go to work in a suit (laughs)".
Justin regularly watches YouTube at home and is up-to-date with the latest in pop culture. "It would be great if more staff members my age could join Arc!"

My film recommendation

Chungking Express (重慶森林), 1994,Hong Kong

I can't really choose a favorite film – there's just too many of them! But the film that made me want to study film was Chungking Express. Ever since I was little, I always loved watching Hollywood genre films but this film's story structure was something completely different. It is also visually amazing. The kinetic camerawork and lighting, done by an Australian cinematographer, Chris Doyle, left an indelible impression on me.

Arc Communications Inc.
Moriden Bldg. 7th Fl., 3-9-9 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
Phone +81-3-5730-6133 Fax +81-3-5730-6134


Photo Contest

The theme for this contest is… Sengakuji!
This is our first attempt at a photo contest!

With the web version of fun NOTE having featured the "Draw it in 45 Seconds!" segment for 3 years now, we figured that everyone's drawing skills had been made known and that it was time to introduce a new segment in the hope that new talent would blossom.
When posing the question, “well than, what should we do next?” the first thing that came to mind was that we wanted to show off the area around our work, Sengakuji.
So everyone grabbed their mobile phones and hit the streets to show the many faces of Sengakuji.
Lining up the photos, you get a real idea as to what everyone gets up to and what kind of scenery lies before them outside of work hours.
How does Sengakuji look to everyone seeing it for the first time? Vote for your favorite photo!

The voting was closed on 23 August (Sun).

We thank everyone who voted.

View drawings here

Arc Communications Inc.
Moriden Bldg. 7th Fl., 3-9-9 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
Phone +81-3-5730-6133 Fax +81-3-5730-6134



Mobile phone recharger (USB) (20 winners)

The voting was closed on 23 August (Sun).

  • Winners will be determined by a fair lottery.
  • Prizes will be shipped to winners in lieu of an announcement. Please note that we may contact a winner by email to ask for a shipping address.
  • Presents are available only to residents of Japan. Our apologies that we cannot ship to overseas addresses.

Arc Communications Services

Arc Communications 5 Blogs

Arc Communications Inc.
Moriden Bldg. 7th Fl., 3-9-9 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
Phone +81-3-5730-6133 Fax +81-3-5730-6134