So I work at a Japanese company as a developer and I have seen the word "requirements" written as both 要件 and 要求

What is the difference between these 2 words? Which one would I use in these examples?

  1. User requirements
  2. Minimum system requirements (like on the side of a software box)
  3. Requirements gathering phase

2 Answers 2


They both can mean the same thing but they are not the same. Probably a similar problem to 目標 and 目的.
The main difference to me is the point of view.

  • User's point of view => 要求
  • Dev's point of view => 要件

要求 would be functionalities the user is looking for. While 要件 would be functionalities the system need to do to answer the 要求.

In my company, we first go through the 要求開発 process, which can include customer study, market survey etc to decide what functionality to add to our product. Then it is passed to a 要件定義 that clearly define the specifications of your product.
要求 is not supposed to be done in the 開発部 but by the 営業/マーケティング部.

I don't fully get the other two meanings but

  • Minimum system requirements : 要求スペック

This isn't a 100% sure answer based on experience, but a little investigation leads me to believe that in the IT context these two words are synonymous.

  1. Here we see both ユーザー要件 and ユーザー要求
  2. Here we see both used for system requirements. It's also written here as 必要最小システム構成 for "minimum system requirements."
  3. Here we see "requirement gathering" simply stated as "要件の取りまとめ," although I'd be willing to bet that 要求 is ok here too.

You can gather the minute differences by looking at the kanji (or just a dictionary). Of course they both have 要, which is the kanji for the verb 要{い}る (to need) so we get the meaning of "necessary" from here. For 要件 the 件 adds a meaning of conditions or provisions, like in 条件. It refers to the things that are necessary. 要求 uses the kanji from 求{もと}める, or something that you seek or desire. The nuance here is that these things are demanded as necessary for the task at hand, in a sense that they are "sought." If you check the dictionary entries, the key part on 要求 is "強く求めること" while in 要件 the important part is "欠くことのできない条件."

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