Registered foreign population in Japan hits record-high 2.21 million

The number of registered foreign residents in Japan hit a record high of 2,217,000 at the end of 2008, marking an increase of around 50% in the last decade, a report released by the Justice Ministry said Friday. The registered foreign population accounts for 1.74% of Japan’s total population, it said.

Chinese nationals accounted for the largest group of foreign residents at around 30%, or 655,000 people, followed by Koreans at 589,000, Brazilians at 313,000, Filipinos at 211,000 and Peruvians at 60,000. The number of permanent residents increased to 492,000, up 11.9%, and that of nonpermanent residents with skilled labor visas rose by 21.6%. Most foreign nationals resided in Tokyo, with 402,000 registered, followed by Aichi and Osaka prefectures.