Chinese characters meaning harmony voted word of 2023 representing spirit of China, Japan, S.Korea

Updated: January 10, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) announced Monday that the Chinese characters "Hehe," meaning harmony, were selected as the China-Japan-South Korea Word of the Year 2023, beating 11 other words to represent the spirit of the three countries.

"The reason why people picked the word "Hehe" is because people hope the trilateral cooperation among the three countries will contribute to common prosperity and harmony in East Asia," TCS Deputy Secretary-General Sakata Natsuko said at the announcing ceremony.

The China-Japan-South Korea Word of the Year 2023 campaign, the first of its kind launched by the TCS, aims to promote a shared culture that leads to shaping mutual perceptions among the three countries.

The campaign that ran from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022 received about 1,000 votes from the general public of the three countries. After the first round of voting, experts from the three countries reviewed the result and listed 12 candidates. The word "Hehe" edged over the others in the second round of voting, with "Xiangsheng" which represents developing together and "Gonggan" bearing the meaning of empathy in second and third place, respectively.

TCS Secretary-General Ou Boqian told Xinhua that "Hehe," a word used by China, Japan and South Korea, means "peace, harmony and amity," and embodies the aspirations of the people of the three countries for regional peace, harmonious coexistence and joint prosperity amid profound changes taking place in the international landscape.

"Looking ahead to 2023, I hope that through the joint efforts of the TCS and the three countries, we can overcome some challenges in the trilateral relations and jointly draw up a blueprint for future trilateral cooperation," Ou said.

Launched in Seoul in 2011 by the governments of China, Japan and South Korea, the TCS serves as a major platform for deepening trilateral cooperation.

Editor: Yu Huichen