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I was reviewing some old cards I had flagged as "uncertain" and I came across a scene from "Your name" (君の名は).

At around the 47th minute the characters ride a shinkansen to meet the "friend" of the MC.

The dialogue is as follows:

Colleague : たきくん、メル友に会いに行くんだって。

Taki: いや、メル友っていうかそりゃ方便で…

From my understanding it can mean something like "Just a figure of speech" The definitions of J to J dictionaries are not very helpful either.

(1)ある目的を達するため便宜的に用いられる手段。てだて。「うそも―」

(2)〔仏〕 〔梵 upāya〕 (ア)仏が衆生(シユジヨウ)を教化・救済するために用いるさまざまな方法。(イ)真実の教えに至る前段階として教化される側の,宗教的能力に応じて説かれた教え。

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The first definition says "a means employed expediently to attain an objective." 嘘も方便 is a fixed expression that means telling a lie is sometimes necessary to achieve a greater goal, or something like that. Outside of this expression, 方便 is often used in the sense of "pretext" or "ostensible reason."

The character is suggesting meeting their e-pal is not the real purpose of their trip.

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