2017 Buzzwords Chosen
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2017 Buzzwords Chosen

    The 10 most memorable words and phrases in Japan for 2017 have been announced. The top selections are "Insta-bae", a reference to the Instagram photo phenomenon, and "sontaku", which comes from a political scandal that made headlines.

    The "award" is given to words and phrases that best reflect the past year. This time there were 30 nominations, many of which represent incidents, remarks or trends that became hot topics.

    The top award went to "Insta-bae", which refers to photos taken mainly to look good on the popular social networking site, Instagram. The other top selection "sontaku" has been widely used in news reports about a controversial sale of state-owned land. The word roughly means to surmise what others might be feeling.

    Here are the rest of the words and phrases in 2017's top 10:

    - "3.5 billion"
    From female comedian Blouson Chiemi's punchline, which implies that half of the world's population is male

    -"J-alert"
    Name for alerts issued during emergencies such as North Korea's missile launches

    -"Sleep debt"
    The cumulative effects of not getting enough sleep, including a heightened risk of dementia

    -"Hifumin"
    The nickname for 9th-dan shogi master Hifumi Kato, who was known for his unique personality and who retired from the game in June

    -"Fake news"
    False information or made-up stories spread on the Internet as real news

    -"Premium Friday"
    A campaign urging workers leave their jobs early on the last Friday of the month

    -"Ma-no-nikaisei"
    Refers to a young generation of LDP lawmakers known for inappropriate remarks and conduct

    -"○○First"
    A phrase indicating the top priority, taken from both US President Donald Trump's "America First" and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike's "Tomin(Tokyoites) First" party

    Special honors went to "9.98", referring to a record by Yoshihide Kiryu, who became the 1st Japanese sprinter to run 100 meters in less than 10 seconds. Also honored was "29 consecutive wins", which references the unprecedented winning streak by 4th-dan Shogi prodigy, Sota Fujii.

    "Insta-bae" model thrilled with award
    Asami Nakamura, an amateur model for a fashion magazine, received the top award as a representative of the winning phrase. She said that although people like her are just taking pictures and posting them on Instagram, she is very pleased that they could lead a movement that will be remembered for years.

    "Sontaku" symbolizes Japanese culture
    Minoru Inamoto, who heads a company selling "Sontaku buns", was awarded on behalf of the other top selection, "sontaku". He said it is a wonderful word that symbolizes Japanese culture. He plans to continue using the word and hopes to keep bringing people smiles with his signature breads that bear its name.

    Kiryu and Fujii pledge continued efforts
    Sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu was given the committee's special award. He said he feels both grateful and a sense of responsibility. Kiryu said that rather than be complacent with his record, he will continue training hard to become even faster.

    Shogi prodigy Sota Fujii was also awarded. He said his achievement was simply the result of focusing on winning each game, one by one. Fujii said that since 2018 will mark the 30th year in the Heisei era, he will train even harder and aim for 30 consecutive victories.