Japan picks Chinese character “disaster” to define 2018

On December 12, Japan picked the Chinese character “disaster” to define the year 2018, a year that saw deadly floods, strong earthquakes and heavy storms. The selection came after Japan was buffeted this year by torrential rains in the country’s west and an large earthquake in Hokkaido, heightening public awareness of the importance of disaster prevention measures. Japan was also rocked by man-made calamities such as stolen cryptocurrencies and the uncovering of harassment by coaches in the athletic world. The competition is rum by every year by the Kyoto-based Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation since 1995. The Chinese characters (or Kanji) are used widely in Japanese as well as other alphabets. Earlier, “North” won in 2017 after North Korea’s missile launches, and “gold” in 2016 after the Rio Olympics.

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