Japanese element Minister Shinzo Abe has issued a much-anticipated statement noting the 70th anniversary that the finish of world War Two. He offered a "heartfelt apology", but as the keolistravelservices.com's Mariko Oi explains, that is only among the numerous ways you can express remorse in Japanese.

You are watching: Ways to say sorry in japanese


In English, you one of two people say "sorry" or "apologies". In Japanese, there are at least 20 various ways.


One the the many casual and also most commonly used words is "gomen" ごめん. You can make it much more formal by saying "gomen-nasai" ごめんなさい or more friendly v "gomen-ne" ごめんね. "Warui warui" 悪い悪い or "my bad" is also a really casual way to speak sorry.


"Sumimasen" すみません, which deserve to be translated as "excuse me", additionally works as an apology depending on how that is used. "Yurushite" 許して is come ask because that forgiveness and "kanben" 勘弁 deserve to be used to plead because that mercy and also both state are provided much much more casually 보다 in English.


More formal methods to apologise encompass "moushiwake nai" 申し訳ない and "shazai" 謝罪. But I usage both state quite often in company emails not due to the fact that I really feel poor but simply to be polite. For example, i may begin my correspondence with "I to be sorry because that the delay in getting earlier to you" and also end it with "I apologise for producing extra occupational for you" also if it only took me a couple of days to respond and also even if i was merely asking them to execute what's currently in their job description.

See more: What Is Break Point In Tennis, What Is A Break Point In Tennis


If i genuinely desire to apologise, at least three or four different phrases would appear in one short email. I may be "too unpleasant to challenge you" 合わせる顔がない and also "I have no excuse" 弁解の余地がない for every little thing I did.


*
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to Japan's shrine to battle dead was seen as undermining his "owabi" apologies

For the post-war apologies, Japanese leaders have used words "hansei" 反省 much an ext frequently. In the English transcript, the reads "remorse" but I would translate it together "regret" and use it, for example, because that failing to be more productive on mine day off.


A student would be told come "hansei" because that forgetting to execute one's homework. Its Chinese or korean equivalents - "fǎnshè" or "banseong" dong - additionally mean "reflection on" or "reconsideration of" the past.


The 1995 explain by previous Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama was taken into consideration landmark due to the fact that it contained the word "owabi" お詫び which is among the most formal means of apologising. He said his country had caused "tremendous damage and also suffering" with its "colonial rule and aggression" and expressed "deep remorse" and stated his "heartfelt apology".


Ten years later on to mark 60 years since the end of the civilization War Two, the climate Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi additionally used the hatchet "owabi". Mr Koizumi's apology, however, was overshadowed by his recurring visits to the controversial Yasukuni shrine where all the war dead - including class A war criminals - room enshrined.


The current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe additionally included words "owabi" in his battle anniversary statement but he had actually indicated the he would not visit the Yasukuni shrine on Saturday.