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How to cop-out of something in Japanese

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Listening to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe field questions from opposition party members during the Jan. 22 and 23 Diet sessions, I was underwhelmed by his boilerplate answers.

Simply put, Abe dodged inconvenient questions, such as those concerning his controversial cherry blossom viewing parties and scandals surrounding the government's casino resort development programs.

Instead, he responded with his array of go-to phrases that are designed to get himself off the hook by obfuscation and misdirection.

"Shinshi ni hansei" (I have examined my conscience seriously) is one. Also well-familiar is "seijitsu ni taio" (I will handle this with the utmost sincerity).

Another phrase Abe uses frequently is "kano na kagiri setsumei shitekita," which translates as "I have explained this as far as possible." But what he deems "far........

© The Asahi Shimbun