In English, when we wish to write a non-strict mathematical inequality, we will write something like this:

x ≤ 3 or y ≥ 5

In Japanese writing, however, I have also seen the symbol ≦ used to mean "less than or equal to". Which of ≤ and ≦ is more common in Japanese usage? I would be interested to know about any differences that exist across various media/genres of writing, e.g. news reports vs. scholarly papers vs. textbooks.

  • Do we have a tag for questions about 記号 / other symbols in Japanese writing? I took a brief look at the tags list but couldn't find anything.
    – senshin
    May 5, 2014 at 6:24
  • I don't see any tags specifically about symbols, but you could always make one :-)
    – user1478
    May 5, 2014 at 7:37
  • I'd be curious to know the Japanese translations for "less than or equal to" and "greater than or equal to" Mar 1, 2018 at 0:26

2 Answers 2


≦ is used everywhere in Japan, unless it's a paper written in English.

  • Just to be perfectly clear, by "everywhere", presumably you mean "everywhere in Japan"? May 21, 2014 at 23:54
  • 1
    @EiríkrÚtlendi: No I mean, in all domains e.g. school text books, books, company reports, Japanese journals etc. May 22, 2014 at 9:19
  • Revise my question :) -- "everywhere in Japanese?" I'm not that familiar with the typography conventions of the non-English-writing world, and your answer above sounds like only English writing uses the ≤ while all other languages use the ≦. Is that your intended meaning? May 22, 2014 at 15:39
  • 2
    @EiríkrÚtlendi: Oh no, I meant in Japan. I'll edit the answer May 22, 2014 at 16:50

I remember I only used ≦ in elementary and middle schools, but in collage (computer science major), everyone switched to ≤. I forgot about high school. So I'm sure both are used, but unless it's something scientific, I think most people use ≦.

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