10% of foreign residents have left disaster-hit prefectures

The number of foreign residents in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures [the hardest hit by the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster] dropped 10.5 percent to 30,092 between the end of December and the end of March, according to the Justice Ministry.

The number of foreigners declined 1.9 percent nationwide during the same period.

“Many foreigners returned to their countries after the disaster and have not returned to Japan as they are concerned about the nuclear crisis” at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, an official in the ministry’s Immigration Bureau said.

The number of foreign residents also decreased by 944 in the three prefectures between the end of March and the end of June.

Foreign trainees at companies and other entities at the end of June decreased by 67.9 percent in Miyagi Prefecture from the end of December. The figure dropped 18.5 percent in Iwate and 19.2 percent in Fukushima.