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Tokyo area received more new foreign residents than Japanese ones last year

16 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Though the population of Japan has been in decline for quite some time now, the population of Japan’s capital continues to grow. And it’s not just Tokyo, either, as the city and the three prefectures that border it, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba, saw an increase to their collective number of residents last year.

According to the just-released results of a study by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the total population of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba prefectures grew to 36,754,193 during 2019, a 0.37-percent increase over the previous year. Out of those new residents, 67,301 were Japanese citizens, but the bigger increase came from the 68,161 foreigners who started calling those parts of Japan their home.

In relative terms, the Japanese population of the “Tokyo metropolitan area” (as the survey described the city and its prefectural neighbors) was up just 0.19 percent, while its foreign population grew 6.23 percent, a rate more than 32 times faster. This marks the first time for the foreign population to increase faster than the Japanese one for the area since the ministry first began separating such demographic data in 2012.

The foreign population increased in Tokyo and all three of the prefectures individually as well. The largest gain was in Yokohama, two cities south of Tokyo, which welcomed 6,501 new foreign residents, likely due to having educational and economic opportunities of its own, as well as being within commutable distance to offices and schools in Tokyo (the recent addition of a life-size Gundam to the Yokohama harbor front probably didn’t hurt the city’s attractiveness either).

Yokohama was followed by Kawasaki, the city sandwiched between Tokyo and Yokohama, with 3,975 new foreign residents, and in third was Kawaguchi in Saitama Prefecture (2,776 people), with both towns providing convenient access to downtown Tokyo but with more affordable costs of living. Within Tokyo itself, the largest increases in foreign residents were in Edogawa and Adachi Wards, both among the less expensive of the city’s 23 central wards.

However, the ministry’s report was based on residency registrations as of Jan 1, meaning that it reflects the situation from before the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Japan. Between immigration restrictions (as a by-product of international travel restrictions) currently in place and work being harder to come by during the economic downturn, especially in the service sector in which many foreign students work part-time to finance their study-in-Japan endeavors, Tokyo’s foreign population has dipped from 577,000 on Jan 1 to 559,000 as of July 1, and may continue to decline should more expats leave Japan to seek greater stability and support in their countries of citizenship.

Source: Nihon Keizai Shimbun

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© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
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Presumably the majority of these people previously lived elsewhere in Japan and relocated, no?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Though the population of Japan has been in decline for quite some time now, the population of Japan’s capital continues to grow. And it’s not just Tokyo, either, as the city and the three prefectures that border it

So far only big cities that can provide enough growth sufficient enough to attract people while rural area no matter how many various JGovt program has been planned or implemented just couldn't provide enough growth.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interesting factoid.

I associate the word "expats" with people working for large foreign firms who temporarily locate to Japan. This is applicable to only a tiny fraction of the people mentioned here. Anyway, if half the new arrivals are non-Japanese, adequate resources should be spent on non-Japanese needs. You can no longer justifying overlooking them as an insignificant minority.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I wonder if someone moved from Chiba to Tokyo or the other way would figure into these counts or it they TRULY are coming from outside......

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

the recent addition of a life-size Gundam to the Yokohama harbor front probably didn’t hurt the city’s attractiveness either).

Yeah, I for one, always look for life-size statues of cartoon characters when determining where's an attractive place I might want to work and spend the rest of my life.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Immigrants go where the money is... why would they move to Tochigi or Miyazaki when there's no work for them? Tokyo is going the way of London where the capital essentially becomes a separate country with its own economy powering ahead at the rest of the country's expense.

The Japanese government needs to decentralise the economy away from Tokyo (and Osaka) to revitalise the country

3 ( +4 / -1 )

People really go seek opportunity hence Tokyo, but having been there, done that, and being able to secure most of my income from remote work, it doesn't matter where I live.

I will come back to Japan in a few years, but it will definitely be somewhere like Kobe or Fukuoka, big enough, but not too big. May even consider cities like Takamatsu or Tokushima which are still big enough with cheapish housing and within 2-3 hours of Kansai Airport. A much more laid back and relaxed lifestyle to be had, as long as you have income.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Cost-wise, Yokohama and Kawasaki/Kawaguchi are very different, the latter are close to ghettos, I doubt any "expats" moved in there. Same with Edogawa and Adachi, the cheapest and highest crime wards in Tokyo.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tokyo’s foreign population has dipped from 577,000 on Jan 1 to 559,000 as of July 1, and may continue to decline should more expats leave Japan to seek greater stability and support in their countries of citizenship.

For all the bad points of living in Tokyo such as miserable commutes, it does offer business and employment opportunities. Also, it is amazingly easy to get a work visa in Japan as opposed to the US so I wouldn't be surprised if the number rises at an accelerating pace. Sadly, however, gaijin taxpayers cannot vote how their taxes are spent so Japanese citizens are getting a real benefit; and because Japan refuses to allow dual citizenship (which I would accept), most foreigners will not pursue it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yokohama and Kawasaki/Kawaguchi are very different, the latter are close to ghettos

Kawasaki's a ghetto? You learn something new everyday on here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The only inconvenience in Tokyo is the daily commute, otherwise the quality of life is good.

It gives me good options for my kid's schooling, a good social life and a clean safe environment.

Wouldn't give it up for anywhere else.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Lots of gaijin chasing after Japan's fake, worthless printed monopoly money..

And DeMandinG to get the free Yen Abe is dishing out to all and sundry.

And to rub some salt, they actively move to Tokyo.

Country is bankrupt yet they latch onto it.

Really Confused.com.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yes! I am new to tokyo. i came last year mid. before i was in different prefecture..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cost-wise, Yokohama and Kawasaki/Kawaguchi are very different, the latter are close to ghettos, I doubt any "expats" moved in there. Same with Edogawa and Adachi, the cheapest and highest crime wards in Tokyo.

Gugu tata??..

LOOOOOOOL !!!!..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I like port cities like Yokohama or San Francisco where you are surrounded by water. Mountain living is nice too if you like to do a lot of hiking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Mocheake that's so funny LOL

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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