According to Kyodo News, the reason the symbol was chosen to characterize Japan in 2014:
The word was chosen after people faced more burdens on their household budgets following the April 1 consumption tax increase. A series of "money and politics" scandals involving national and local politicians who decide how to use taxpayers' money also came to the surface.It was chosen by a vote of the general public. Its selection was announced at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto.
Perhaps it should also be adopted here in the United States to symbolize politicians who are prone to raising taxes instead of curbing spending.
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