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Slain ex-PM 'Shinzo Abe' tops 2022 Google search trend ranking in Japan

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- The impact of famous people's sudden deaths in Japan was reflected on the 2022 Google search trend ranking in the country, with "Shinzo Abe," the former prime minister who was assassinated in July, topping the list, followed by "Ryuhei Ueshima," a member of the popular comedy trio Dachou Club who died in May, the Japanese arm of Google LLC announced on Dec. 7.

    The firm tallied domestic search data between Jan. 1 and Nov. 24, and the ranking was compiled based on growth rates from searches of the same subjects the previous year, among other factors.

    The phrase "au communication failure," referring to the "au" mobile phone network's disruption in early July, came in third place. Popular game "Splatoon 3" was the fourth most searched item, and "Ukraine" was in fifth place.

    "World Cup" was the eighth most searched phrase on Google Japan, and the company believes this is largely due to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which started on Nov. 20. While Japan's Nov. 23 upset win over Germany in the group stage was within the data collection period, the Dec. 2 victory over Spain was not. If the search data about the game had been included in the tally, "World Cup" could have ranked even higher.

    In the definition search category, "What is the Unification Church?" was the most commonly searched phrase, followed by "What is a state funeral?", highlighting the public attention on the Abe shooting.

    (Japanese original by Taiki Asakawa, Business News Department)

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