Japan's top buzzword for this year is "3Cs," a word used repeatedly as part of the country's effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the award's organizer said Tuesday.
The "3Cs" -- confined spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings -- which health experts say should be avoided, was but one of the numerous coronavirus-related buzzwords, such as "Abenomask" and "Go To campaign," in a year marked by the pandemic.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike was credited with raising the profile of the "3Cs" buzzword selected by publishing house Jiyukokuminsha.
Koike's call to the public about the measures was so insistent that it even inspired the creation of a viral online game.
"I worked on how to pass the message to the public," said Koike, who attended the awards ceremony remotely, while warning that the public should remain vigilant.
The top 10 buzzwords list included "Abenomask," which means "Abe's mask" in Japanese and is a pun on former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's signature "Abenomics" economic policy mix.
The government distribution of two free washable cloth masks to all households in Japan in a program costing tens of billions of yen in taxpayers' money amid the pandemic received strong public criticism.
Also on the list was "Go To campaign," a government subsidy program implemented in the fall to encourage travel and dining out in a bid to stimulate the economy. The campaign was halted recently in some parts of Japan due to the rapid rise of coronavirus cases.
With people hoping for the pandemic to subside, "Amabie," a legendary Japanese "yokai" goblin who is believed to ward off diseases, made the top-10 list. "Amabie" went viral on social media, generating drawings and goods.
"Online xx," was also included, with "xx" designating activities like meetings, medical exams and drinking parties, that moved online to avoid the 3Cs, demonstrating how the pandemic changed people's work and lifestyles.
With people preferring to hole up at home, the global smash-hit video game "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" was also on the list, as well as the South Korean drama "Crash Landing On You."
The list also included a box office animated movie based on the "Demon Slayer" manga series, "Demon Slayer -- Kimetsu no Yaiba -- The Movie: Mugen Train," which just became the second-highest grossing movie in Japan attracting tens of thousands across the country.