Chinese characters as book’s focus

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Chinese characters as book’s focus


Members on the committee in charge of compiling the standardized list of the 808 most widely used Chinese characters in South Korea, mainland China and Japan, gather in Jung District, central Seoul, on Wednesday to celebrate its imminent publication. From left: Noh Jae-hyun, the CEO of JoongAng Books; Song Pil-ho, vice chairman of the JoongAng Media Network; Sakong Il and Lee Hong-koo, advisers to the JoongAng Ilbo; JoongAng Media Network Chairman Hong Seok-hyun; Lee O-young, a JoongAng Ilbo adviser; Song Yong-joon, a professor at Seoul National University; and Jung Jae-seo and Shim So-hee, professors at Ewha Womans University. By Choi Seung-sik

A committee led by the JoongAng Ilbo held a ceremony Wednesday to celebrate a soon-to-be-published standardized list of the 808 most widely used Chinese characters in South Korea, mainland China and Japan.

The event was held at the JoongAng Ilbo headquarters in Jung District, central Seoul. One of the ceremony’s highlights included a calligraphy scroll donated by renowned artist Park Wan-kyu. The standardized list of 808 characters is set to be published in book form this April.

Thirty experts from the three nations part of the Northeast Asia Trilateral Forum succeeded in April last year in compiling a list of 808 characters most commonly used in each country. For a decade since its establishment, the group has strived to enhance cultural exchanges that can help to increase peace and prosperity in the region at a time when political tensions have escalated.

The three Northeast Asian countries share a long history of similar Confucian-based culture and values, as well as Chinese character-based language, art and heritage.

Discussions led by the Northeast Asia Trilateral Forum also touch on environmental and financial issues, among others.

The trilateral forum is co-hosted by one leading media group in each country: JoongAng Ilbo; Xinhua News Agency in China; and Nikkei, a Japanese newspaper. Key members of the organization include Hong Ky-tack, the chairman of KDB Financial Group; Park Sam-koo, the chairman of Kumho Asiana Group; Kim Myung-ja, the former environment minister; Dai Xianglong, the former governor of the People’s Bank of China; and Kengo Kuma, a University of Tokyo professor.


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