Demography of Japan

Japanese birth and death rates since 1950. The drop in 1966 was due to it being a "hinoe uma" year which is viewed as a bad omen by the Japanese Zodiac.[1]

The demographic features of the population of Japan include population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects regarding the population.

Based on the census from October 2010, Japan's population was at one of its peaks – 128,057,352. As of October 1, 2015, the population was 127,094,745[2] making it the world's tenth-most populous country at the time. It had declined by 0.8 percent from the time of the census five years ago, the first time it had declined since the 1945 census.[3] Mexico's population was slightly less than Japan's in 2015, with projections suggesting Mexico will soon pass Japan. Current statistics do not indicate much difference in population numbers.[4] Japan's population size can be attributed to high growth rates experienced during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Since 2010, Japan has experienced net population loss due to falling birth rates and almost no immigration, despite having one of the highest life expectancies in the world at 81.25 years of age as of 2006.[5] Using the annual estimate for October of each year, the population peaked in 2008 at 128,083,960 and had fallen 285,256 by October 2011.[6] Japan's population density was 336 people per square kilometer.

Based on 2012 data from the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Japan's population will keep declining by about one million people every year in the coming decades, which will leave Japan with a population of 42 million in 2110.[7] By that time, more than 40% of the population is expected to be over age 65 in 2060.[8] In 2012, the population had for six consecutive years declined by 212,000, the largest drop on record since 1947 and also a record low of 1.03 million births.[9] In 2014, a new record of population drop happened with 268,000 people.[10] In 2013, more than 20 percent of the population are age 65 and over.[11]

The population ranking of Japan dropped from 7th to 8th in 1990, to 9th in 1998, and to 10th in the early 21st century. In 2015 it dropped further to 11th place, according both to UN and PRB.

Historical population
1910 50,984,840    
1915 54,935,755+7.7%
1920 55,963,053+1.9%
1925 59,736,822+6.7%
1930 64,450,005+7.9%
1935 69,254,148+7.5%
1940 73,075,071+5.5%
1945 71,998,104−1.5%
1950 83,199,637+15.6%
1955 89,275,529+7.3%
1960 93,418,501+4.6%
1965 98,274,961+5.2%
1970 103,720,060+5.5%
1975 111,939,643+7.9%
1980 117,060,396+4.6%
1985 121,048,923+3.4%
1990 123,611,167+2.1%
1995 125,570,246+1.6%
2000 126,925,843+1.1%
2005 127,767,994+0.7%
2010 128,057,352+0.2%
2015 127,110,000−0.7%


For information on historical demographic data in Japan prior to 1945 refer to:


Japanese population density map per prefecture as of 2009 per square kilometer


Japan collects census information every five years. The exercise is conducted by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Population density

Japan's population density was 336 people per square kilometer according to the UN World Populations Prospects as of July 2005. It ranks 37th in a list of countries by population density, ranking directly above India (336 per km2) and directly below Belgium (341 per km2). Between 1955 and 1989, land prices in the six largest cities increased 15,000% (+12% a year). Urban land prices generally increased 40% from 1980 to 1987; in the six largest cities, the price of land doubled over that period. For many families, this trend put housing in central cities out of reach.

The result was lengthy commutes for many workers in the big cities, especially in Tokyo area where daily commutes of two hours each way are common. In 1991, as the bubble economy started to collapse, land prices began a steep decline, and within a few years fell 60% below their peak.[12] After a decade of declining land prices, residents began moving back into central city areas (especially Tokyo's 23 wards), as evidenced by 2005 census figures. Despite nearly 70% of Japan being covered by forests,[13] parks in many major cities—especially Tokyo and Osaka—are smaller and scarcer than in major West European or North American cities. As of 2014, parkland per inhabitant in Tokyo is 5.78 square meters,[14] which is roughly half of the 11.5 square meters of Madrid.[15]

National and regional governments devote resources to making regional cities and rural areas more attractive by developing transportation networks, social services, industry, and educational institutions in attempts to decentralize settlement and improve the quality of life. Nevertheless, major cities, especially Tokyo, Yokohama, and Chiba, and to a lesser extent Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, remain attractive to young people seeking education and jobs.

Urban distribution

Japan has a high population concentration in urban areas on the plains since 75% of Japan’s land area is made up of mountains,[16] and also Japan has a forest cover rate of 68.5% (the other developed countries with such a high forest cover percentage are only Finland and Sweden).[13] The 2010 census shows 90.7% of the total Japanese population live in cities.[17]

Japan is an urban society with about only 5% of the labor force working in agriculture. Many farmers supplement their income with part-time jobs in nearby towns and cities. About 80 million of the urban population is heavily concentrated on the Pacific shore of Honshu.

Metropolitan Tokyo-Yokohama, with its population of 35 million residents, is the world's most populous city. Japan faces the same problems that confront urban industrialized societies throughout the world: overcrowded cities and congested highways.

Aging of Japan

Main article: Aging of Japan

Japan's population is aging faster than any other nation.[18] The population of those 65 years or older roughly doubled in 24 years, from 7.1% of the population in 1970 to 14.1% in 1994. The same increase took 61 years in Italy, 85 years in Sweden, and 115 years in France.[19] In 2014, 26% of Japan's population was estimated to be 65 years or older,[20] and the Health and Welfare Ministry has estimated that over-65s will account for 40% of the population by 2060.[21] The demographic shift in Japan's age profile has triggered concerns about the nation's economic future and the viability of its welfare state.[22]

Overview of the changing age distribution 1935–2010[23]
Year Total population
(census; in thousands)
Population by age (%)
0–14 15–64 65+
1935 69,254 36.9 58.5 4.7
1940 73,075 36.1 59.2 5.7
1945 71,998 36.8 58.1 5.1
1950 84,115 35.4 59.6 4.9
1955 90,077 33.4 61.2 5.3
1960 94,302 30.2 64.1 5.7
1965 99,209 25.7 68.0 6.3
1970 104,665 24.0 68.9 7.1
1975 111,940 24.3 67.7 7.9
1980 117,060 23.5 67.3 9.1
1985 121,049 21.5 68.2 10.3
1990 123,611 18.2 69.5 12.0
1995 125,570 15.9 69.4 14.5
2000 126,962 14.6 67.9 17.3
2005 127,768 13.7 65.8 20.1
2010 128,058 13.2 63.7 23.1
2015 126,163 12.1 61.3 26.1

Demographic statistics from the CIA World Factbook


Population in 5 households, 78.7% in urban areas (July 2000). High population density; 329.5 people per square kilometer for total area; 1,523 persons per square kilometer for habitable land. More than 50% of population lives on 2% of land. (July 1993)

Sex ratio

(2010 est.)

at birth: 1.056 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female

(2006 est.)

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female


Main article: HIV/AIDS in Japan

Adult prevalence rate

less than 0.1% (2009 est.)[24]

People living with HIV/AIDS

9,600 (2007 est.)
12,000 (2003 est.)


fewer than 100 (2009 est.)[24]
500 (2003 est.)

Ethnic groups

To measure ethnicity, the Japanese census asks respondents their nationality, rather than asking them to identify by ethnic group as other countries do. For example, the United Kingdom census asks for ethnic or racial background, regardless of nationality. Naturalized Japanese citizens and native-born Japanese nationals with multi-ethnic background are considered to be ethnically Japanese in the population census of Japan.[25] Consequently, census data does not provide much information on ethnicity in Japan.

Within Japan, a distinction between "Polynesian-type" (that is, those with darker skin and rounder eyes) Jomon and "continental-type" (lighter skin and narrower eyes) Yayoi is sometimes observed, although the popular shorthand does not reflect the observed 90% Yayoi / 10% Jomon haploid-group frequency of modern Japanese DNA.

Marital status

Main article: Marriage in Japan
Over 15: Never married Male 61.8%, Female 58.2%.
16–24: Never married Male 31.8%, Female 23.7%.
25–29: Never married Male 69.3%, Female 54.0%.
30–34: Never married Male 42.9%, Female 26.6% (July 2000).

Vital statistics

Live births, birth and death rates and overall fertility rate in Japan from 1899 to present.[26][27][28]

2012 (and 2011) update:[32]

Total fertility rate

Japan's total fertility rate (TFR) in 2012 was estimated at 1.41 children per woman, increasing slightly from 1.32 in the 2001–05 period. In 2012, the highest TFR was 1.90, in Okinawa, and the lowest was 1.09, in Tokyo. TFR by prefecture for 2000–05, as well as future estimates, have been released.[33]:page 30


Internal migration

Between 6 million and 7 million people moved their residences each year during the 1980s. About 50% of these moves were within the same prefecture; the others were relocations from one prefecture to another. During Japan's economic development in the twentieth century, and especially during the 1950s and 1960s, migration was characterized by urbanization as people from rural areas in increasing numbers moved to the larger metropolitan areas in search of better jobs and education. Out-migration from rural prefectures continued in the late 1980s, but more slowly than in previous decades.

In the 1980s, government policy provided support for new urban development away from the large cities, particularly Tokyo, and assisted regional cities to attract young people to live and work there. Regional cities offered familiarity to those from nearby areas, lower costs of living, shorter commutes, and, in general, a more relaxed lifestyle than could be had in larger cities. Young people continued to move to large cities, however, to attend universities and find work, but some returned to regional cities (a pattern known as U-turn) or to their prefecture of origin (a pattern referred to as "J-turn").

Government statistics show that in the 1980s significant numbers of people left the largest central cities (Tokyo and Osaka) to move to suburbs within their metropolitan areas. In 1988 more than 500,000 people left Tokyo, which experienced a net loss through migration of nearly 73,000 for the year. Osaka had a net loss of nearly 36,000 in the same year.

The prefectures showing the highest net growth are located near the major urban centers, such as Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, and Kanagawa around Tokyo, and Hyogo, Nara, and Shiga near Osaka and Kyoto. This pattern suggests a process of suburbanization, people moving away from the cities for affordable housing but still commuting there for work and recreation, rather than a true decentralization. More people in Japan like to live near coastal areas because they are easier to travel around in than the mountainous interior.


Main article: Japanese diaspora

About 663,300 Japanese were living abroad, approximately 75,000 of whom had permanent foreign residency, more than six times the number who had that status in 1975. More than 200,000 Japanese went abroad in 1990 for extended periods of study, research, or business assignments. As the government and private corporations have stressed internationalization, greater numbers of individuals have been directly affected, decreasing Japan's historical insularity. By the late 1980s, these problems, particularly the bullying of returnee children in schools, had become a major public issue both in Japan and in Japanese communities abroad.


Main article: Immigration to Japan

According to the Japanese immigration centre,[25] the number of foreign residents in Japan has steadily increased, and the number of foreign residents (excluding a small number of illegal immigrants and short-term visitors, such as foreign nationals staying less than 90 days in Japan),[34] exceeded 2.2 million people in 2008.[25]

In 2010, the number of foreigners in Japan was 2,134,151. This includes 209,373 Filipinos, many of whom are married to Japanese nationals,[35] 210,032 Brazilians, the majority possessing some degree of Japanese ancestry,[35] 687,156 Chinese and 565,989 Koreans. Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans, and Brazilians account for about 69.5% of foreign residents in Japan.[36]

The current issue of the shrinking workforce in Japan alongside its aging population have resulted in a recent need to attract foreign labour to the country. Reforms which took effect in 2015 relax visa requirements for "Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals" and create a new type of residence status with an unlimited period of stay.

The number of naturalizations peaked in 2008 at 16,000, declining to over 9,000 in the most recent year for which data are available.[37] Most of the decline is accounted for by a steep reduction in the number of Japan-born Koreans taking Japanese citizenship. Historically the bulk of those taking Japanese citizenship have not been foreign-born immigrants but rather Japanese-born descendants of Koreans and Taiwanese who lost their citizenship in the Japanese Empire in 1947 as part of the American Occupation policy for Japan.

Japanese statistical authorities do not collect information on ethnicity, only nationality. As a result, both native and naturalized Japanese citizens are counted in a single group.[25] Although official statistics show near homogeneity, one analysis describe the population as “multi-ethnic”, although unofficial statistics still show that ethnic minorities are small compared with many other countries.[38]

In 2015 the Japanese government under prime minister Shinzō Abe announced that its policy of restricting immigration would not change despite the current declining population. In the long term, its plan is to improve technology to address the labour shortage, while increasing Japanese fertility rates from the current level of 1.4 to 1.8, eventually stabilizing the population at 100,000,000.[39][40]


The Japanese society of Yamato people is linguistically homogeneous with small populations of Koreans (0.9 million), Chinese/Taiwanese (0.65 million), Filipino (306,000 some being Japanese Filipino; children of Japanese and Filipino parentage).[41] Brazilians (300,000, many of whom are ethnically Japanese) as well as Peruvians and Argentineans of both Latin American and Japanese descent. Japan has indigenous minority groups such as the Ainu and Ryukyuans, who generally speak Japanese.

Japanese citizenship is conferred jus sanguinis, and monolingual Japanese-speaking minorities often reside in Japan for generations under permanent residency status without acquiring citizenship in their country of birth, although legally they are allowed to do so. This is because Japanese law does not recognise dual citizenship after the age of adulthood, and so people becoming naturalised Japanese citizens must relinquish citizenship of other countries when they reach the age of 20. Some ethnic Koreans and Chinese and their descendants (who may speak only Japanese and may never have even visited the country whose nationality they hold) do not wish to abandon this other citizenship.

In addition, people taking Japanese citizenship must take a name using the Japanese character sets hiragana, katakana, and/or kanji. Names using Western alphabet, Korean characters, Arabic characters, etc. are not acceptable as legal names. Chinese characters are usually legally acceptable as nearly all Chinese characters are recognized as valid by the Japanese government. Transliterations of non-Japanese names using katakana (e.g. スミス "Sumisu" for "Smith") are also legally acceptable.

However, some naturalizing foreigners feel that becoming a Japanese citizen should mean that they have a Japanese name and that they should abandon their foreign name, and some foreign residents do not wish to do this—although most Special Permanent Resident Koreans and Chinese already use Japanese names. Nonetheless, some 10,000 Zainichi Koreans naturalize every year. Approximately 98.6% of the population are Japanese citizens, and 99% of the population speak Japanese as their first language. Non-ethnic Japanese in the past, and to an extent in the present, also live in small numbers in the Japanese archipelago.[38]



Japanese people enjoy a high standard of living, and nearly 90% of the population consider themselves part of the middle class. However, many studies on happiness and satisfaction with life tend to find that Japanese people average relatively low levels of life satisfaction and happiness when compared with most of the highly developed world; the levels have remained consistent if not declining slightly over the last half century.[42][43][44][45] Japanese have been surveyed to be relatively lacking in financial satisfaction.[46]

The suicide rates per 100,000 in Japan in 2009 were 29.2 for men and 10.5 for women.[47] In 2010, 32,000 Japanese committed suicide, which translates to an average of 88 Japanese suicides a day in 2010.[48]


Discrimination against ethnic minorities

Main article: Burakumin

Three native Japanese minority groups can be identified. The largest are the hisabetsu buraku or "discriminated communities", also known as the burakumin. These descendants of premodern outcast hereditary occupational groups, such as butchers, leatherworkers, funeral directors, and certain entertainers, may be considered a Japanese analog of India's Dalits. Discrimination against these occupational groups arose historically because of Buddhist prohibitions against killing and Shinto notions of pollution, as well as governmental attempts at social control.

During the Tokugawa period, such people were required to live in special buraku and, like the rest of the population, were bound by sumptuary laws based on the inheritance of social class. The Meiji government abolished most derogatory names applied to these discriminated communities in 1871, but the new laws had little effect on the social discrimination faced by the former outcasts and their descendants. The laws, however, did eliminate the economic monopoly they had over certain occupations. The buraku continued to be treated as social outcasts and some casual interactions with the majority caste were perceived taboo until the era after World War II.

Estimates of their number range from 2 to 4 million (about 2% to 3% of the national population). Although members of these discriminated communities are physically indistinguishable from other Japanese, they often live in urban ghettoes or in the traditional special hamlets in rural areas, and membership can be surmised from the location of the family home, occupation, dialect, or mannerisms. Checks on family background designed to ferret out buraku were commonly performed as part of marriage arrangements and employment applications, but have been illegal since 1985 in Osaka.

Past and current discrimination has resulted in lower educational attainment and socioeconomic status among hisabetsu buraku than among the majority of Japanese. Movements with objectives ranging from "liberation" to encouraging integration have tried to change this situation, with some success. Nadamoto Masahisa of the Buraku History Institute estimates that as of 1998, between 60 and 80% of burakumin marry a non-burakumin.[49]


The second largest minority group among Japanese citizens is the Ryukyuan people. They are primarily distinguished from their use of several distinct Ryukyuan languages though use of Ryukyuan is dying out. The Ryukyuan people and language originated in the Ryukyu Islands, which are in Okinawa prefecture.


The third largest minority group among Japanese citizens is the Ainu, whose language is an isolate. Historically, the Ainu were an indigenous hunting and gathering population who occupied most of northern Honshū as late as the Nara period (A.D. 710–94). As Japanese settlement expanded, the Ainu were pushed northward, by the Tokugawa shogunate, the Ainu were pushed into the island of Hokkaido.[50]

Characterized as remnants of a primitive circumpolar culture, the fewer than 20,000 Ainu in 1990 were considered racially distinct and thus not fully Japanese. Disease and a low birth rate had severely diminished their numbers over the past two centuries, and intermarriage had brought about an almost completely mixed population.

Although no longer in daily use, the Ainu language is preserved in epics, songs, and stories transmitted orally over succeeding generations. Distinctive rhythmic music and dances and some Ainu festivals and crafts are preserved, but mainly in order to take advantage of tourism.

Foreign residents

Transition of Numbers of Registered Foreigners in Japan from 5 Major Countries
Age and Sex Distribution of Major Foreigners in Japan.

In 2005, there were 1,555,505 foreign residents in Japan, representing 1.22% of the Japanese population.[51] Foreign Army personnel, of which there were up to 430,000 from the US and 40,000 BCOF in the immediate post-war years, have not been at any time included in Japanese foreign resident statistics.[52]

A number of long-term resident Koreans in Japan today retain familial links with the descendants of Koreans,[53] that either immigrated voluntarily or were forcibly relocated during the Japanese Occupation of the Korea. Within this group, a number hold Special Permanent Resident status, granted under the terms of the Normalisation Treaty (22. June 1965) between South Korea and Japan.[54] In many cases special residents, despite being born in Japan and speaking Japanese, have chosen not to take advantage of the mostly automatic granting of citizenship to special resident applicants.[55]

Beginning in 1947 the Japanese government started to repatriate Korean nationals, who had nominally been granted Japanese citizenship during the years of military occupation. When the Treaty of San Francisco came into force many ethnic Koreans lost their Japanese citizenship and with it the right to welfare grants, to hold a government job of any kind or to attend Japanese schools.[52] In the following year the government contrived, with the help of the Red Cross, a scheme to "repatriate" Korean residents, who mainly were from the Southern Provinces, to their "home" of North Korea.[56] Between 1959 and 1984 93,430 people used this route. 6,737 were Japanese or Chinese dependents. Most of these departures 78,276 occurred before 1962.[57]

Foreigners in Japan in 2000 by citizenship.
Source:Japan Statistics Bureau[58]

All non-Japanese without special residential status (people whose residential roots go back to before WWII) are required by law to register with the government and carry alien registration cards. From the early 1980s, a civil disobedience movement encouraged refusal of the fingerprinting that accompanied registration every five years.

Opponents of fingerprinting argued that it was discriminatory because the only Japanese who were fingerprinted were criminals. The courts upheld fingerprinting, but the law was changed so that fingerprinting was done once rather than with each renewal of the registration, which until a law reform in 1989 was usually required every six months for anybody from the age of 16. Those refusing fingerprinting were denied re-entry permits, thus depriving them of freedom of movement.

Of these foreign residents below, the new wave started 2014 comes to japan as students or trainees. These foreigners are registered under student visa or trainee visa which gives them the student residency status, Most of these new foreigners are under this visa. Almost all of these foreign students and trainees will go back to their home country after 3-4 years (This is the time normally the visa sponsored lasts), not a lot of students extends their visa. Vietnamese makes the largest increase, however Burmese, Cambodians, Filipinos and Chinese are also increasing.

Country 2015[59] 2014[60] 2012[61] 2011 2010 2005 2000 1990 Main Articles
China China 665,847[62] 654,777[62] 652,555[62] 674,879 687,156 519,561 335,575 137,499 Chinese people in Japan
South Korea Korea 457,772 501,230 530,046 545,401 565,989 598,687 635,269 681,838 Koreans in Japan
 Philippines 229,595 217,585 209,974 209,376 210,181 187,261 144,871 38,925 Filipinos in Japan
 Brazil 173,437 175,410 190,581 210,032 230,552 302,080 254,394 14,258 Brazilians in Japan
 Vietnam 146,956 99,865 52,364 44,690 41,781 28,932 16,908 6,316 Vietnamese people in Japan
   Nepal 54,775 42,346 24,069 20,383 17,525 6,953 3,649 399 Nepalis in Japan
 United States 52,271 51,256 48,357 49,815 50,667 49,390 44,856 34,900 Americans in Japan
Taiwan Taiwan 48,723 40,197 22,773 Taiwanese People in Japan (Japanese article)
 Peru 47,721 47,978 49,248 52,842 54,636 57,728 46,171 4,121 Peruvian migration to Japan
 Thailand 45,379 43,081 40,130 42,750 41,279 37,703 29,289 5,542 Thais in Japan (Japanese article)
 Indonesia 35,910 30,210 25,530 24,660 24,895 25,097 19,346 2,781 Indonesians in Japan
North Korea North Korea 33,939 Koreans in Japan
 India 26,244 24,524 21,653 21,501 22,497 16,988 10,064 2,926 Indians in Japan
 United Kingdom 15,826 15,262 14,652 15,496 16,044 17,494 16,525 9,272 Britons in Japan
 Myanmar 13,737 10,252 8,045 8,692 8,577 5,342 4,851 894 Burmese people in Japan
 Sri Lanka 13,152 10,741 8,427 9,303 9,097 9,013 5,655 1,064
 Pakistan 12,708 11,802 10,597 10,849 10,299 8,789 7,498 1,875 Pakistanis in Japan
 Bangladesh 10,835 9,641 8,622 9,413 10,175 11,015 7,176 2,205 Bangladeshis in Japan
 France 10,672 9,641 8,455 8,423 9,060 7,337 5,371 2,881 French people in Japan
 Australia 9,843 9,350 8,888 9,166 9,756 11,277 9,188 3,073 Australians in Japan
 Canada 9,538 9,286 9,006 9,484 9,995 12,022 10,088 4,172
 Malaysia 8,738 8,288 7,848 8,136 8,364 7,910 8,386 4,309
 Russia 8,092 7,859 7,295 7,566 7,814 7,110 4,893 340[63] Russians in Japan
 Germany 6,336 5,864 5,223 5,303 5,971 5,356 4,295 3,410 Germans in Japan (Japanese article)
 Mongolia 6,590 5,796 4,837 4,774 4,949 3,762 1,209 23 Mongolians in Japan
 Cambodia 6,111 4,090 2,862 2,770 2,683 2,263 1,761 1,148
 Bolivia 5,412 5,333 5,283 5,567 5,720 6,139 3,915 238
 Turkey 4,157 3,654 2,528 2,613 2,547 2,275 1,424 190 Turks in JapanKurds in Japan
 Iran 3,996 3,976 3,996 4,725 4,841 5,227 6,167 988 Iranians in Japan
 Italy 3,536 3,267 2,629 2,642 2,731 2,083 1,579 890
 New Zealand 3,152 3,119 3,109 3,146 3,250 3,824 3,264 967
 Afghanistan 2,639 2,154 1,609 1,355 1,148 593 430 Afghans in Japan (Japanese article)
 Nigeria 2,638 2,518 2,377 2,730 2,729 2,389 1,741 140 Nigerians in Japan
 Argentina 2,630 2,651 2,722 2,970 3,181 3,834 3,072 1,704
 Laos 2,592 2,556 2,521 2,584 2,639 2,393 1,677 864
 Singapore 2,501 2,366 2,135 2,440 2,512 2,283 1,940 1,042
 Spain 2,495 2,309 1,822 1,883 1,907 1,585 1,338 827
 Romania 2,408 2,245 2,185 2,281 2,409 3,574 2,449 34 Romanians in Japan (Japanese article)
 Colombia 2,268 2,244 2,253 2,505 2,606 2,902 2,496 373
 Mexico 2,141 2,033 1,935 1,909 1,956 1,825 1,740 691
 Ghana 2,005 1,915 1,729 1,891 1,883 1,824 1,657 518 Ghanaian in Japan (Japanese article)
Total Foreign Residents 2,232,189 2,121,831 2,033,656 2,078,508 2,134,151 2,011,555 1,686,444 984,455

Foreign residents as of 2015

There was an increase of 110,358 foreign residents from 2014 to 2015. Vietnamese made the largest proportion of these new foreign residents where as Nepalese, Filipino, Chinese and Taiwanese are also significant in numbers. Together these countries makes up 91,126 or 82.6% of all new residents from 2014 to 2015. However these immigrants will only stay 3 years or 5 years in Japan as majority of these new immigrants are in Japan as a part of the trainee system, once the trainee program is completed these trainees will have to return back to their home countries.[64]

As of December 2014 there were 2,121,831 foreigners residing in Japan, 677,019 of whom were long-term residents in Japan, according to national demographics figures. The majority of long-term residents were from Asia, totalling 478,953. Chinese made up the largest portion of them with 215,155, followed by Filipinos with 115,857, and Koreans with 65,711. Thai, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese long-term residents totaled 47,956, and those from other Asian countries totaled 34,274. The Korean figures do not include zainichi Koreans with tokubetsu eijusha ("special permanent resident") visas, of whom there were 354,503 (of a total of 358,409 of all nationalities with such visas). The total number of permanent residents had declined over the previous 5 years due to high cost of living.[60]

Foreign residents on short term employment contracts

A significant number of foreign residents of Japan are employed on a short term contractual basis under programs administered by the Japanese government. Well known programs include:

In the light of current demographic trends Japan is likely to experience a decrease in tax revenue without a corresponding decrease in welfare expenses for an increasingly elderly population.[65] Given growing manpower shortages, immigrant workers continue to play an important role taking low skilled and manual labour jobs. A recent growth in blue collar employment using documented short term contractual labour from developing countries has also contributed to the rise in the resident foreign population.[66] The government administered Technical Intern Training Program, first established in 1993, provided over 190,000 short term contracted workers in 2015. However, it has been claimed that many of these workers often work at reduced pay and are required to undertake significant amounts of overtime in order to make up for labor shortages. As trainees, labor standards law and minimum wage legislation has on occasion been ignored by unscrupulous employers.[67] The Japanese government has begun to examine this problem and has sought to both strengthen the vocational training aspect of the work program oversight.


Foreign residents were recorded only in an alien registration system separate from the koseki (family registry) and jūminhyō (resident registry) systems in which Japanese citizens were registered until a new registration system was enacted in July 2012. Since then, all residents are recorded by municipal offices in the jūminhyō system.[68] The koseki system continues for Japanese citizens, while foreigners are recorded in a separate residency management system administered by immigration offices which combines the previous immigration status and local alien registration systems.

Foreigner-reporting website and hotline

The Japanese Ministry of Justice maintains a website and hotline (English reference) for "receiving report on [sic] illegal stay foreigner." The criteria for reporting include "feeling anxious about a foreigner", and anonymous submissions are permitted. Japanese immigration authorities work in unison with police to investigate those reported, and human rights groups such as Amnesty International have argued that those reported do not receive proper legal protection.

The Daiyo Kangoku system allows police to detain suspects without charges, access to legal counsel or telephone calls for up to 23 days. In October 2006, the foreigner reporting hotline's operating hours were extended to include Saturday, Sunday and national holidays.

Fingerprinting foreigners when entering Japan

As of November 20, 2007, all foreigners entering Japan must be biometrically registered (photograph and fingerprints) on arrival; this includes people living in Japan on visas as well as permanent residents, but excludes people with special permanent resident permission, diplomats, and those under 16.[69][70]


Main article: Religion in Japan

Shinto and Buddhism are Japan's two major religions. They have co-existed for more than a thousand years. However, most Japanese identify as either atheists, irreligious, or do not identify themselves as adherents of one religion, but rather incorporate various elements in a syncretic fashion.[71] There are small Christian and other minorities as well, with the Christian population dating to as early as the 1500s, as a result of European missionary work before sakoku was implemented from 1635–1853.

See also


  1. Clyde Haberman (1987-01-15). "Japan's Zodiac: '66 was a very odd year". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  2. See links to the Census and the monthly Population Estimate through the Japan Statistical Agency homepage.
  3. "Japan's population declines in 2015 for first time since 1920". Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  4. Statistics on the total population in Japan, International Monetary Fund. April 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  5. CIA - The World Factbook - Rank Order - Life expectancy at birth
  6. Japan Statistical Agency monthly Population Estimate.
  7. "Population Statistics of Japan 2012". National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. January 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  8. "Japan population to shrink by one-third by 2060". BBC News. January 30, 2012.
  9. "Japan's Population Falls by Record in 2012 as Births Decrease". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  10. 1 2 "Japanese women have world's longest life expectancy at 86.41 years". Daily News. New York. 2013-07-25.
  11. "Japan's population falls by record 244,000 in 2013". January 2, 2014.
  12. Krugman, Paul (2009). The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008. W.W. Norton Company Limited. ISBN 978-0-393-07101-6.
  13. 1 2 "Forest area (% of land area)". The World Bank. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
  14. "公園の現況". Bureau of Construction Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
  15. "Madrid Now". The Now Institute - Urban research, planning and speculations. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
  16. "地形分類" (pdf). Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
  17. "平成22年国勢調査最終報告書 人口の地域分布" (pdf). The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Statistics Bureau. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
  18. "Japan's demography: The incredible shrinking country". The Economist. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  19. "Statistical Handbook of Japan". Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication. 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  20. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, Statistics Bureau. Japan Statistical Yearbook, Chapter 2: Population and Households Retrieved 13 January 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. "Japan population to shrink by a third by 2060". The Guardian. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  22. Hashimoto, Ryutaro (attributed). General Principles Concerning Measures for the Aging Society. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved 2011-3-5.
  23. Population by Age Group and Indices of Age Structure(Excel:29KB)
  24. 1 2 Holtz, Carol (2012-05-30). Global Health Care. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. p. 46. ISBN 9780763799649.
  25. 1 2 3 4 "平成20年末現在における外国人登録者統計について(Number of Foreign residents in Japan)". Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  26. B.R. Mitchell. International historical statistics: Africa. Asia & Oceania 1750–2000.
  27. United nations. Demographic Yearbooks 1948-2010
  28. Japan Monthly Statistics
  29. table 2-25 Standardized Vital Rates and Reproduction Rates
  30. table 2-7 Trends of Life Expectancies by Age
  32. Japan's birthdate drops to 1.03 million, number of deaths keep increasing
  34. Japan Immigration,Alien Registration,One-Stop Solution for Corporates and individuals for Immigration procedures
  35. 1 2 "平成23年末現在における外国人登録者統計について 法務省" [Statistics of Registered Foreigners in 2011] (in Japanese). Japan: Ministry of Justice. February 22, 2012.
  36. 帰化許可申請者数等の推移
  37. 1 2 John Lie, Multiethnic Japan (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001) ISBN 0-674-01358-1
  38. McCurry, Justin (2015-09-30). "Japan says it must look after its own before allowing in Syrian refugees". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  39. Roberts, Marcus (2015-10-28). "Germany and Japan: on different immigration paths". MercatorNet. Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  40. "Embassy taps help of Pinoy groups in Japan". Japan. March 12, 2011.
  41. Ranks of Happiness in Nations in the 1990s
  42. nation
  43. NationMaster - Life satisfaction (most recent) by country
  44. A Global Projection of Subjective Well-being: A Challenge to Positive Psychology?
  45. NationMaster - Financial satisfaction (most recent) by country
  46. Mental Health, WHO
  47. BBC News: Suicides cost Japan economy $32bn
  49. Shinichiro, Takakura (1960). The Ainu of Northern Japan: A Study in Conquest and Acculturation. Independence Square: The American Philosophical Society. pp. 24–25.
  50. Statistical Data in Japan
  51. 1 2 Morris-Suzuki, Tessa; Borderline Japan: foreigners and frontier controls in the post-war era; Cambridge 2010; ISBN 978-0-521-86460-2, Ch. 1: "Border Politics," Ch. 8: "A point of no return"
  52. 23 Session of the National Diet, Committee on judicial affairs 
  53. Morris-Suzuki (2010), p. 230
  54. HAN: "Koreans in Japan: Past and Present"
  55. Agreement signed in Calcutta, brokered by the ICRC. Morris-Suzuki (2010), p. 208
  56. detailed in: Morris-Suzuki, Tessa; Exodus to North Korea: shadows from Japan's cold war; Lanham, Md. 2006; ISBN 978-0-7425-5441-2
  57. Japan Statistics Bureau, accessed 8 December 2007
  58. 在留外国人統計(旧登録外国人統計)統計表 法務省 Number of Registered Foreign Residents The Ministry of Justice, Japan
  59. 1 2 "統計表一覧 政府統計の総合窓口" [General counter of statistical tables list government statistics] (in Japanese). 2015-04-24. Retrieved 2015-12-26.
  60. 在留外国人統計(旧登録外国人統計)統計表 法務省 Number of Registered Foreign Residents The Ministry of Justice, Japan
  61. 1 2 3 excluding Taiwan
  62. Soviet Union
  63. "Statistics".
  64. "Implications of Japan's Changing Demographics". Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  65. "Japan's Resilient Demand for Foreign Workers". Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  66. "Japanese Immigration Policy: Responding to Conflicting Pressures". Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  67. "Start of new residency management system". March 2012.
  68. Chris Hogg Japan ups checks for foreigners, BBC News, 20 November 2007.
  69. The Immigration Bureau introduced new immigration procedures on November 20th, 2007., Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice (Japan).
  70. Edwin O. Reischauer The Japanese Today: Change and Continuity; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1988), pg. 215.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Demographics of Japan.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/29/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.