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The year 2018 is coming to an . For some people it was a year, and for other people it wasn't so great. In Japan, an organization conducted a to ask people for the word they thought best described 2018. The winner of this was the word "disaster". The kanji (Chinese character) that Japanese people chose means "disaster or ". The organization said people chose the kanji for disaster of the many natural disasters to hit Japan in 2018. Japan was hit by deadly , earthquakes, heavy rains that caused destruction, and a killer heatwave. Hundreds of people lost their in these disasters and many and homes were destroyed.

The is called the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation. It has conducted a " of the year" survey since 1995. This year, it received from 193,214 people. The most popular kanji was the character for "peace". Last year, "north" was the . This was because of increasing tensions over North Korea's nuclear . The rest of the world was also hit by natural disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes and tsunami. Wars also raged across the world, especially in Syria and Yemen. There was also a lot of suffering because of - people trying to move to other countries to find a new life. People hope the kanji will be "happiness".

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