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Foreign teachers working for English language school chain Aeon Corp. have chosen “perseverance” as the word of the year to describe Japan for the second consecutive year, the company said Thursday.

This year saw natural disasters — including the eruption of Mount Ontake in September and the deadly mudslides in Hiroshima in August — as well as a rare dengue outbreak in the middle of Tokyo, but “Japanese people appeared to be perseverant in the eyes of foreign teachers,” the Okayama-based firm said in a statement.

According to Aeon, votes were collected from 511 teachers. “Perseverance” was the top choice with 23 votes, while “Resilience” cane in second with 16 votes.

“Japan has faced many hardships and an economic slump, but everyone is bearing up with patience,” one of the comments listed in the press release says.

“Change” was ranked third with 14 votes, as the Lower House was dissolved for a snap election.

“Tax” received six votes, putting it in fifth place, reflecting the April sales tax hike and resulting return to recession.

“Japan has been largely swayed by the economy this year. Abenomics and the sales tax hike attracted a lot of attention,” one teacher said.

Aeon launched the survey last year, making “perseverance” the top word in 2013 to describe Japan’s efforts to recover from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

“Progress” came in fourth place with eight votes, and “challenge” garnered six votes, with five each going to “achievement” and “transition.”

Aeon said more than 300 words were picked by the teachers this year. Some of the more unique choices included “frozen,” inspired by the popular Disney movie.

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