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Japan on Wednesday selected the Chinese character for "disaster" as its "defining symbol" for 2018, a year that saw the country hit by deadly floods, earthquakes and storms.
Japanese TV stations broadcast the annual announcement live, with Seihan Mori, master of the ancient Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, writing the character on a huge white panel with an ink-soaked calligraphy brush.
People - Threat - Disasters - Earthquakes - Rain
"Many people experienced the threat of natural disasters such as earthquakes, heavy rain, typhoons and heatwaves," the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation, which organises the event, said in a press release.
At the end of every year, the general public votes for the Chinese character they think embodies the key news and events of the previous 12 months.
Total - People - Character - Disaster
A total of 20,858 people out of 193,214 chose the character "disaster".
The country was hit by a series of natural disasters in 2018, starting with massive flooding in western regions that killed over 200 people.
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