Personally, as much as this definitely happens for every new language we learn, I think that the likelihood/prevalence of this phenomenon changes depending on the structure of the language being learnt and its proximity with our native language. It’s far more likely with, say, a European language like German or French when an English speaker learns it, because sentence structure is very similar, and so real-time translation is easy. With Japanese though… at the lower levels, translation is probably necessary or helpful for understanding, but I find that the further I go, the more I tend to see things in terms of sentence elements, rather than as a question of translation. The reason is that it’s too difficult, especially with long sentences, to produce a faithful, near-literal translation for Japanese, since word order is far too different. I currently need to work on being able to retain entire Japanese sentences in my memory as opposed to simply capturing them for a few seconds like a news ticker, but I think that even in our native languages, we have a tendency to turn information into comprehensible blocks instead of memorising entire sentences word for word as we attempt to understand.
Separately, with time (unless you consistently learn new expressions by memorising them as monolithic blocks with their translations), you’ll probably start to see that certain things are genuinely untranslatable, and that it’s necessary to understand their logic in Japanese without translating in order to decipher what they really mean. Plus, once your Japanese ability is developed enough for you to form coherent thoughts and sentences in your mind, you’ll probably stop relying on translations altogether. In any case, that’s more or less what happened for me for French, though I know English still occasionally influences my word choice in French.