Hi Rob. I asked John Gribble, the JWC organizer, to comment. Here's his response:
The Japan Writers Conference started in Tokyo in 2007 and has taken place annually at various locations throughout Japan. Aside from food, it is 100% free and almost 100% open to anyone who wants to attend (Some workshops require signing up in advance). Other than for food, there is no registration.
It is a zero-budget affair. We pass a can to finance the webpage and that's it. The site is donated and the organizers and presenters are all volunteer. As a result, the event has become an annual egalitarian gathering of creatives involved with the written and published word.
To my knowledge there is no plan to record, post, or stream any of the presentations. Tom Baker has made some fun little videos about the conference in the past. They can be accessed from the JWC website.
So if you're in, near, or can get to Kobe on Oct 24-25, come on by. You'd be welcome.
Japan Writers Conference