07/16/2019, 12.41
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Amid Japan’s demographic crisis, the number of foreigners is up

The number of immigrants, especially from Asia, is rising in the Land of the Rising Sun. More people die each people than are born. Under new employment regulations that came into effect last April, the country will accept more foreign workers.

Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Japan has been experiencing a demographic crisis for years. To maintain its social welfare system, it has been "forced" to accept more and more foreigners in its midst.

At present, some 2.7 million foreigners live in the country, 170,000 more than last year, this according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Foreigners, who now represent 2.09 per cent of Japan's total population, come mainly from other parts of Asia. Chinese constitute the largest group, followed by South Koreans and Vietnamese.

“We first began to see a gradual rise in foreign nationals living in Japan about 30 years ago, but it has increased in the last ten years or so,” said Masataka Nakagawa, a senior researcher with the government-run National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

The rise in the pool of foreigners comes even as Japan’s overall population experiences a steady decline.

At the start of 2019 it stood at 124,776,364 – or 433,239 fewer people than the previous year.

Last year, there were 921,000 births, just below the one-million threshold for the third consecutive year. Conversely, 1,363,564 people died, the sixth consecutive increase.

According to researchers at Tohoku University, if the population continues to decline at the current rate, the Japanese will be extinct by 16 August 3766.

Meanwhile, the number of foreign residents is expected to rise under new employment regulations that took effect in April.

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