Foreign Population in Japan Sets New Record at 2.82 Million

Since opening the country to more foreign workers through a new visa scheme, the country now has 2.82 million foreign people registered as residents at the end of June.

In line with this, the government also projects to accept more technical interns and workers enter Japan amid a severe labor shortage affecting the country.

Foreign Population in Japan Sets New Record at 2.82 Million

Japan’s Foreign Population Breaks Record with 2.82 Million 

According to the Immigration Services Agency, the data was up 3.6 percent from the previous high set at the end of last year,  as shared in a report by the Japan Times.

The government data revealed a total number of technical trainees reaching 367,709, eclipsing 336,847 students. Meanwhile, other work-linked visa holders also saw a sharp rise in numbers according to the agency.

Those arriving on visas for engineers and international services stood at 256,414, up 13.6 percent, while 13,038 — up 17.9 percent — entered under visas for highly skilled professionals.

Those arriving with the new visa status created in April for blue-collar workers stood at just 20, though the number who acquiring this status had risen to 616 as of Oct. 18.

Given the government’s projection of hiring up to 47,550 people on this visa in fiscal 2019 ending in March, the system is apparently off to a slow start. 

Interestingly, those with permanent residency constituted the largest group of residents at 783,513, up 1.5 percent.

In terms of nationality, the Chinese made up the largest group with 786,241, followed by South Koreans at 451,543 and Vietnamese at 371,755.

Foreign populations rose across the 47 prefectures, with Tokyo being home to the biggest concentration at 581,446.

Though off to a relatively slow start, the government through its new visa system is actively pursuing migrant workers from other countries, including the Philippines, China, and other parts of the world. 

Among the challenges faced by migrant workers who are considering Japan to be their work destination is the government’s requirement for its workers to be adept at the command of the Japanese language, and the relatively higher cost of living in Japan. 

Despite this, just last year, the number of Filipinos working in Japan has already reached 164,000 – a new record for the community in the last ten years. But with the country’s new visa scheme, this number is expected to rise further in the coming months.

Hiring and recruitment do not come easy for the country, particularly after the summer season, when a number typhoons are expected to hit Japan based on historical data, with the most recent one causing significant devastation across the region. 

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