A government advisory panel proposed Monday that 196 characters be added and five taken away from the list of kanji designated for everyday use to better reflect the information age.
After reviewing the list for five years, the Council for Cultural Affairs made the recommendations for what will be the first kanji reform in 29 years and the third since the end of World War II.
The list of 1,945 characters will grow to 2,136. The changes will take place by yearend.
The new proposals include numerous difficult-to-write kanji because the widespread use of personal computers and mobile phones makes using them much easier. One is”utsu,” which means either the way greenery grows vigorously or a feeling of depression.
“There is no need to be able to write by hand all the kanji,” the council said in a report it submitted to education minister Tatsuo Kawabata.
The five kanji to be removed from the list include “momme,” a traditional unit of weight.