Here Are the Basic Templates for Writing Business Emails in Japan

This task requires you to understand high-level writing and business grammar.

Photo Pixabay


Emailing in Japanese is one of the most difficult things for Japanese learners because this task requires you to understand high-level writing and business grammar. In this article, we give you some business email templates to use for your coworkers and for clients.


First, here are a few things you should know:


1. Spoken and written Japanese are quite different from each other. Try not to use the broken one and always opt for the polite or courteous way which in Japanese is known as
keigo.

2. You must have a proper understanding of the relationship between you and your client. Knowing this makes your keigo expressions perfect.

3. Always try to keep your emails simple and concise. Try not to make the sentence complicated or too long. The longer you write, the more mistakes you’ll make.

4. Questions? Request? Report? or just Greetings? Try not to get off topic. Focus on the main purpose of the email.

5. After writing, have it checked by your Japanese coworker before sending it. This process brings you not only the assurance of being correct but this also gives a way for your coworker to add new and more sophisticated expressions.


3-Step templates for both clients and coworkers


Email to clients


The position of the receiver is deemed always higher than yours. Keigo and polite phrases are always required.


1st: Put names in order by positions from highest to lowest, one person in one line. To the person without specific positions or unknown, then write “様” (~
sama, the keigo of ~san) at the end of their name.


Example:

山田社長 (read as Yamada-shacho, means the President)

鈴木取締役 (read as Suzuki-torishimariyaku, means Director)

髙橋部長 (read as Takahashi-bucho, means General Manager)

田中課長 (read as Tanaka-kacho, means Manager)

佐藤様 (read as Sato-sama)


Check this article for a quick guide on the
typical Japanese company hierarchy.


2nd: Set the starting phrase.


Both sentences below are common greetings, which can mean “Thank you for your patronage.” This can be considered equivalent to “I hope all is well.” However, phrase (1) is more polite than phrase (2).


1. いつも大変お世話になっております。

2. いつもお世話になっております。


3rd: Conclude the mail.


For inquiry or request mail, you can choose one out of phrase (1) or phrase (2). The meaning of both of them is “thank you for your understanding, and we are looking forward to your assistance.” It is more polite to write it like phrase (1) than phrase (2). On the other hand, to report, greet or just simply reply to report mail, you can choose one out of phrase (3) or phrase (4). The meaning of them both is  “thank you for your understanding and continued support.” Like before, phrase (3) is more polite to write than phrase (4).

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1. お手数をおかけしますが何卒よろしくお願い致します。

2. お手数ですがよろしくお願いします。

3. 今後ともよろしくお願い申し上げます。

4. 引き続きよろしくお願い致します。


Sample Email


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

山田社長

鈴木取締役

髙橋部長

田中課長

佐藤様


いつも大変お世話になっております。


(Your main message of email here)


お手数をおかけしますが何卒よろしくお願い致します。


(Your signature)


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Email to co-workers


Rules


The position of the receiver is deemed higher than yours even though the receiver is in the same company. Minimal
keigo and polite phrases are required. To people without specific positions, you should end their names with “さん” (~san).


1st: Write the names by positions from highest to lowest, one person per line. In a casual scenario, you can just line up names. It largely depends on the company culture.


Example:

山本課長 (read as Yamamoto-kacho)

中村さん (read as Nakamura-san)


2nd: Set the starting phrase.


Here you have one choice,  “お疲れ様です。” (
otsukare sama desu).  It directly translates to appreciating one’s hard work but in the recent years, it is also used as a verbal greeting like “Hi” in the office whenever you bump into someone. 


3rd: Conclude the mail.


This portion is exactly the same with the case of clients.


For question or request mail, choose one out of phrase (1) or phrase (2).
The meaning of both of them is “thank you for your understanding, and we are looking forward to your assistance.” On the other hand, to report, greet or just reply to a report mail, choose one out of phrase (3) or phrase (4). The meaning of them is both “thank you for your understanding and continued support.” Again, phrase (1) and phrase (3) are more polite than phrase (2) and phrase (4).


1. お手数をおかけしますが何卒よろしくお願い致します。

2. お手数ですがよろしくお願いします。

3. 今後ともよろしくお願い申し上げます。

4. 引き続きよろしくお願いします。


Sample Email


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

中村さん


お疲れ様です。


(Your main message of email here)


お手数をおかけしますが何卒よろしくお願い致します。


(Your signature)


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Additional tips for you!


If you need to express an agreement, acknowledgment, or understanding, then choose one out of the examples below:


1. 承知しました。(
shouchi shimashita)

2. かしこまりました。(kashikomarimashita)


*In this case, the level of politeness is the same.


“If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.” in Japanese is:


1. ご不明点があればご連絡ください。

2. ご不明な点がございましたらご連絡ください。


*In this case, phrase (2) is more polite than phrase (1). Phrase (1) is probably used within the company while phrase (2) can be sent to your clients.


After going through these tips we hope you can contact everyone smoothly to succeed in work and in business. Communication is always an important factor in any person’s life after all.


 (28 October 2019)

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