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Japanese Standards Association Publishes ASTM Handbook for Japanese Audience

by Maryann Gorman

The Japanese Standards Association, as part of an effort to help interested Japanese understand the workings of major standards developers, is publishing an informational book about ASTM, the ASTM Standardization Handbook.

In its preface to the book, JSA notes, “ASTM standards have played a critical role in the fundamental structures of Japan’s industries. ASTM standards have helped open up Japan’s technical communications and her trade and commercial transactions with the rest of the world, in particular, with the United States; helped secure interchangeability of parts; and provided the means for fundamental technology that has enabled the ‘mass production method,’ which in turn has contributed to Japan’s economic progress.” Recognizing the influence of ASTM standards around the world, JSA has chosen to profile ASTM as part of a series of books called the “Overseas Standards Basic Knowledge Series.” Other profiled organizations are the British Standards Institution, the International Organization for Standardization, and the American National Standards Institute.

According to Motonobu Kuroda, head senior consultant, JSA standards engineering department, “The choice of making ASTM a title in the guidebook series is based on the fact that ASTM standards are third in sales ranking after ISO/IEC and BS/EN standards. Secondly, ASTM is so widely applied in industry that there is great interest in ASTM, from general consumers to industry representatives.”

There are over 120 Japanese ASTM technical committee members who participate in developing standards areas as diverse as fatigue and fracture testing, composite materials, nuclear technology, electronics, metals, textiles, and corrosion control. Japan is the third largest consumer of all ASTM products worldwide, behind only the United States and Canada, and JSA is one of the largest distributors of ASTM standards in the world. JSA also translates ASTM standards into Japanese.

The U.S. standards system, unlike the centralized and largely government-based standards systems of many other countries, is decentralized and based in the private sector. Covering ASTM, one of the largest standards developers in the world, will give Japanese readers an overview of how one such private-sector SDO works.

The book summarizes ASTM’s operations, its relevance to the global market, and also overviews:

• The extent to which ASTM standards are adopted by the U.S. federal, state, and local governments;
• ASTM’s standards development process;
• The administration of electronic meetings;
• Standards development tools;
• Testing, research, and training programs at ASTM; and
• ASTM publications and online standards purchasing services.

The book is written in Japanese and is due out Oct. 20, and will be available in major bookstores in Japan as well as through the JSA sales network. To obtain copies, contact JSA, 4-1-24 Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8440 Japan (phone: 81-3-3583-8005; fax: 81-3-3586-2014).

ASTM is pleased to have been profiled by our Japanese colleagues in standards development and we look forward to future cooperative interactions with JSA on the world standards stage.

Copyright 2001, ASTM

Motonobu Kuroda. JSA