Yasuko Kawakami
Court Translator & Business Communication Specialist

In 1970, Yasuko formed her own language service agency in Kobe, Japan. The services provided through this agency included, but were not limited to, oral translations, written translations and business communication services that took her from Kobe to Asia, North America, Europe and Africa. She owned and managed this agency with a full time staff of four and a network of over thirty interpreters and translators on-call until 1975. 

Yasuko was born and raised in Japan. She is a professional Japanese/English interpreter/translator, as well as a business communications specialist. Yasuko holds a degree in English Literature and a Teaching Diploma in English from Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. She studied English at the University of Pennsylvania, and participated in a Danish language program at University of Copenhagen as a scholarship recipient. In addition, she studied at the University of London, College of Law, where her concentration was in International Relations. She also took courses in government, politics, and history at Oxford University. Yasuko received intensive training in simultaneous interpretation in Kyoto. 











During the same period, Yasuko also served as a manufacturer’s representative for an assortment of products ranging from women’s apparel, copper tubes, auto parts, cigarettes, chemical products, rubber products and even pet supplies. Her work with the agency and as a representative provided opportunities for her to learn a very diverse subject fields ranging from: government protocols, TV commercials, advertisement-copy creations, press interviews, court cases, business meetings, conferences, police investigations, medical seminars, government events, scientific and other technical reports, industrial operating manuals, patent documents, and many other types of legal documents.

In 1976, Yasuko relocated her operations to Hawaii when she became a US permanent resident. While fulfilling her contracted duties as the manufacturer’s representative for the Japan Tobacco and Salt Monopoly Public Corporation, she started to focus her language services, in both oral and written communications in the legal field in 1977. In her capacity as a court translator/interpreter, Yasuko served the State of Hawaii courts and the United States District Court in both criminal and civil matters.  Yasuko has concentrated and specialized in the court translation services for the last 36 years (31 years in the criminal matters) and has mastered the art of neutral and accurate verbatim translation. Her services in the courtroom earned Yasuko the reputation of being very knowledgeable, competent and reliable amongst judges, prosecutors, attorneys, and others present in the courtroom. Yasuko served all the courts in Hawaii and was tasked by the Hawaii Supreme Court to sit on its Committee on Certification of Court Interpreters for four terms from 2001 to 2012. Yasuko was honored with the 2001 Hawaii Joint Police Association’s Certificate of Distinguished Service for Court Interpreters, and was the chief interpreter for the US Navy Court of Inquiry at Pearl Harbor on the Ehime Maru/USS Greenville case.

In her career, Yasuko has translated over 350 rounds of depositions with complicated subject matters, dealing with intellectual properties, medical and intricate business issues. She also provided document-screening services and rendered expert opinions in court. She has also translated vast volumes of legal documents and technology/science papers since 1977 to present. Serving in this capacity, Yasuko continued to add to her already lengthy international experience, by working for clients in Singapore, Fiji, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Australia, Canada and United Arab Emirates, just to name a few.

From 2009 to the present, Yasuko’s servicing areas concentrated on the Pacific Rim in cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Hong Kong, Agana and Honolulu. As for the type of services and the subject matters, they have been predominantly oral translation services for depositions in the intellectual property matters in the International Trade Commission or Federal or State Courts, translating approximately 50-60 rounds of IP depositions. During this same time period, Yasuko has been translating many license negotiations involving American and Japanese patents, mainly regarding wireless communications, multimedia device technologies and marine navigation systems.