How would you express "A demands B" in japanese. In the sense that 'demands' is being used as a synonym of "absolutely requires". But using this expression instead of "requires" has a nuance. To me the nuance of this expressions is slightly refined or authoritative, or even elitist.

For example, a luxury car commercial: We see a close up of shiny curves, the voice over says,
“New thinking demands bold designs".

Other examples might be;

'creation of the new demands destruction of the old'

'poverty demands action'

'quality demands time'

and so on.

[edit] Looking at side by side corpses I came up with:

A は B を要求します

And Then I was advised that IT was better to say:

A には、 B を必要とします。


A は B することだ。

But I'm not sure if the nuance is conveyed.

  • 1
    Hello, I know this is a good and well-focused question, but as a rule of this site, please post your best translation attempt to show us you're not using this site as a bulk translation service. Have you at least used a dictionary?
    – naruto
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 1:59

1 Answer 1


The subject of 要求する usually has to be a human. When the subject is an inanimate idea, "A demands B" is a typical 物主構文 ("thing-as-a-subject construction") sentence that looks fairly odd to the eyes of Japanese people if translated too literally.

AはBを必要とする and AにはBが必要だ will look far more natural. If you need the nuance of "absolutely", you can use 不可欠, 必要不可欠 or 必須 instead of 必要.

  • 新たなものの創造には古いものの破壊が不可欠だ。
  • 貧困に対処が必要だ。
  • 品質の向上には時間が必須だ。

(For the first one, I would prefer a free translation like 新たな発想は大胆なデザインから生まれる)

  • Thank you. I often find the acceptable agents and subjects of verbs differ between Japanese and English. It's not always clear from dictionaries. This was the explanation I was after. Other have also suggested the ~から生まれる pattern.
    – Skins I
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 6:20

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