To meet the demand for hardcover and deluxe Bibles, Jehovah’s Witnesses have installed new bindery equipment at their printery in Ebina, Japan.
Initially, there were some concerns because the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, resulted in mandatory power outages.
Nevertheless, the project got under way in September 2011. Less than three months later, the first copies of the New World Translation in Chinese were produced by the new bindery line.
The fully automated bindery line is about 400 meters (1,312 ft) in length. As printed material moves along the line, it is bound, given a cover, pressed, stacked, and then placed into cartons that are sealed and put on pallets.
Cooperation Pays Off
Careful planning and coordination were involved in making the project a success. For example, the bindery equipment had to be sealed, crated, and loaded into 34 containers and shipped from Europe to Japan.
Ten members of the United States branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses traveled to Japan to help with the project. Some remained for up to six months, teaching workers in Japan how to operate and maintain the equipment.
The new bindery line attracted the attention of the Japanese bindery, printing, and publishing industries. On March 19, 2012, more than a hundred people from those industries toured the facilities. They were favorably impressed.
Before leaving, each one was given a copy of the New World Translation produced on the new line.
The Japan branch joins our branches in the United States and Brazil in sharing in the worldwide production of hardcover Bibles for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
‘The Next Job Will Be the Hardest’
The Witnesses and those from outside companies who helped on the project enjoyed working together. One non-Witness worker said: “
You are like family to me.”
On the final day of the project, another non-Witness worker said: “
The next job I have to work on will be the hardest because it will not be as nice as the one at Watchtower!”
Jehovah’s Witnesses operate 15 printing facilities worldwide, producing Bible-based literature in some 700 languages.