Photo: Pakutaso

Tokyo experiences drop in population for 7th consecutive month

By Krista Rogers, SoraNews24

It wasn’t that long ago that the Japanese government was about ready to pay people to move out of Tokyo. It seems like they can toss that plan aside, however, since Tokyo has now seen a drop in population for seven consecutive months.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications revealed on Feb 25 that the number of people who moved out of Tokyo (25,483) in January 2021 exceeded those who moved in (23,993) by 1,490 people (including foreign residents), according to the month’s population migration report. While that number is fewer than December’s differential of 4,648, the overall decreasing trend has continued since July 2020.

Compared to the numbers from January 2020’s population migration report (near the start of the pandemic), the number of people who have moved out of Tokyo is up by 5.7 percent and the number of people who have moved in is down by 12.4 percent. That same month saw the number of people who moved in exceeding the number of those who moved out by 3,286 people. The reversal in trend over the past seven months is most likely attributed to higher overall rates of COVID-19 infection and the renewed state of emergency in Tokyo on Jan 7 of this year.

Interestingly, last summer it was also reported that the population of foreigners in Tokyo was increasing at a significantly faster rate than that of Japanese people. It will be interesting to see how the demographics of Japan’s capital continue to change once COVID-19 is under control.

Source: Kyodo via My Game News Flash 

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© SoraNews24

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I saw some tumbleweed blow through Shinjuku only yesterday.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Tokyo Best city of the world !!..

Negative votes, come to me !!..

Tissues ?? !!..

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

"Tokyo Best city of the world !!.."

It's not even the best city in Kanto (Yokohama, take a bow).

Anyways, slightly less than 1,500 people leaving the city isn't really anything to get overexcited about.

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Have lived in Tokyo - and given my stage of life, it was what was needed at the time, but my next stint in Japan will almost definitely be in a smaller city. These days I can do online work, so I can be anywhere. Only real condition I have is that I would want to be within a couple of hours of an international airport.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Just wait until the state of emergency is lifted and the vaccine is administered, the people will be flocking to Tokyo again. This is just a covid blip.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Anyone can see that having 40% of your economy jammed into a single city with a guaranteed major quake on the way is not wise. Once I leave Tokyo I would head to Sapporo, Kyoto, Kobe or Fukuoka as my top picks. Telework just might make it a reality.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Good news!

I've never lived in the city thank god. I live in one of the surrounding prefectures. I work there too. I'm SOOOO glad I don't ever have to go into Tokyo.

4 ( +9 / -5 )


it js not 1500 people but 6000 over 2 months and more over the period July-Nov 2020

This is only the net migration result , there is also the net decrease between death and births which are estimated at around 75000 a year for greater Tokyo

And i would not count on the numbers going up after covid( 2022 at the earliest).

Japan is going down in importance for foreign companies. If anything, i expect less and less top expats as retail in Japan will continue to decline because of declining population( market).

well, there is always the Olympics of course on the brightside

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Tokyo Best city of the world !!..

Negative votes, come to me !!..

Well, if we take personal preferences out of the equation ( some people prefer inaka or smaller cities, can’t do anything about that ), Tokyo IS the best city in the world. Only one problem, though. You need to have money to fully enjoy it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The Olympics will bring everyone back! Heh Heh....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Its happening worldwide. People are opting for a "Tree Change". Crowded cities are less attractive and lifestyle choices are becoming more important. The ability to work from home is also a factor.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Interesting, but the big one in Japan for people moving is March/April. That figure will tell us about a much bigger picture. Twenty odd thousand people moving in or out of Tokyo in January is a very low number.

I'm pretty sure that Osaka flipped to depopulation before Covid, and there is no reason for the same thing to not happen to Tokyo.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is welcome news

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This can only be a good thing. There are way too many humans there.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I mean, not a bad thing really. I like Tokyo alright, but if I didn't have to be here for work I would probably prefer a smaller city. Everything in the country doesn't need to be located here, and the less centralized things become the better it will be I think.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications revealed on Feb 25 that the number

(25,483) 2021 (23,993) 1,490 4,648, 2020.

Compared to the numbers from January 2020’s 5.7 12.4  3,286 to higher overall rates of COVID-19 7 of this year.


I see. Soooooooo, what are we supposed to do with all these digits? Anyone up for some keno or matrix programming?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In my first time in Japan, I first arrived in Tokyo and it was like living in a futuristic utopia where everything is just shiny, bright and flashy. But after spending 24 hours in it, I thought to myself that living in this place must be pretty draining for people who really live here. As glamorous as the big T is, people will eventually get tired of it and look for a more homey place like the suburbs or the inaka. I also think that this pandemic drove that point quite clear where being confined in your small apartment in the city is tougher than being surrounded by nature and (arguably) friendlier neighbors in less-developed areas of Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I always think of Tokyo as a set of tiny drawers in a huge chest that you can pull out one at a time and watch little tiny people leading cramped lives. Or an ant farm.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

There are brilliant neighbourhoods around Tokyo that have a completely different vibe to the large central places and not really like living in a big city. I hardly ever go out to socialize in places like Shibuya or Shinjuku anymore as I'd much rather hang out in my area. Tokyo's ace.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tokyo never again.

It will be Nagasaki or Kagoshima or even a much smaller town.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Tokyo is convenient. Everything at arm's length. Commute from hell is the flipside.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

interestingly, last summer it was also reported that the population of foreigners in Tokyo was increasing at a significantly faster rate than that of Japanese people.

What kind of foreigner? Japanese blooded from third world countries? Vietnamese as so called trainees?

Corporate heads and their families?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

From before the pandemic , as you point out phenomena can be appeared . Surburb areas and even central district in capital Tokyo, we can see sitting empty living some of the dark spots remarkable . People are relocating there in all in sudden on that day without say anybody , and after that , there is made in car park , pulling up the high riding block , lower house is gone . Truly awful and weird feel has got it terrific . My nearest area has lots of spooky housing ruin remaining. Town could be getting horrific. This realization couldn’t be understood beyond staying there many years.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As mentioned before, this is not something happening only in Japan, people don't fall so easily for the appeal of big cities anymore, I just hope the trend last long enough to make a difference.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Never understood the attraction of a megatropolis..

Cramp packed cities! tiny apartments!

Expensive rent!

No thanks!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You'd never know that here in Shinjuku.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lived in Shikoku, 20 minutes to the beach, 20 minutes to the mountains. Super cheap housing these days. Great place to bring up kids (if both parents are Japanese). Slower and more relaxed pace of life, plenty of nature.

One thing I will say though, the regional areas seem a bit unfriendly to those who have come from the big cities. A newcomer from the big city will be very much treated like an outsider.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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