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In a recent comment exchange on ELU.SE, a Japanese man (my senior in years, and a "guest" in the forum whose questions I had answered regularly for some time, but not much lately as I have been scaling back my participation there), said in his comment to my response:


I felt obliged to respond in kind with


and that is how I replied. But it just felt a little strange in a comment-chain discussion. What do you think? Might こちらこそ or something else have been better?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

In response to the post's title, I think, yes, it's OK for electronic communications. But ご無沙汰しています (it's usually 〜ています or 〜ております) sounds weird for such a casual acquaintance (if he's even that much to you). I think it's reserved for very close and/or very important relationships (extended family members, past teachers/professors/senpai, old friends, etc.). For just an acquaintance, I'd probably just respond with an equal 久しぶりですね.

I'm not sure of こちらこそ in this situation. It sounds fine to me, but I'll let someone else more knowledgeable comment on that.

EDIT: I did find some examples where it was ご無沙汰しました/いたしました and had the same meaning. Guess I learned something.

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