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This year is nearly over. Was it a great year? Japanese people have chosen the kanji (Chinese character) they think describes 2018. They chose the kanji, "disaster". This was because there were natural disasters in 2018. Japan had typhoons, earthquakes, heavy rains, and a deadly heatwave. These killed hundreds of people.
Japanese people have voted for a word of the year since 1995. The kanji "peace" was second this year. Last year, "north" won because of North Korea's nuclear tests. The world also had disasters. There were wildfires, hurricanes and tsunami. There were wars in Syria and Yemen. People want next year's kanji to be "happiness".
Back to the disaster lesson.