Alien residents of Japan

By year and nationality, 1947-2010

By William Wetherall

First posted 10 March 2006
Last updated 25 September 2012


Trends Koreans | Chinese | Brazilians and Peruvians | Filipinos | Americans | Stateless | Table


The following table shows basic alien registration figures to the extent that they are available from 1947. See other tables for earlier figures, and for figures related to specific cohorts, such as sex and age, place of residence, employment, et cetera. For breakdowns on kinds of residence status, see articles related to permanent residents and long term residents.

Note that the figures shown here are annual counts of aliens registered as residents of the municipalities (villages, towns, cities, and wards) that constitute Japan's sovereign territory. They are not the head counts based on door-to-door census surveys taken every five years.

Annual alien registration and five-year national census counts are different. The datum of annual registration counts also varies with the report. Census reports are generally based on 1 October of the census year. Register-based populations were once reported as of 1 April, the start of a fiscal year, but now they are reported as of 31 December, the last day of a calendar year.

See article on "Aliens residing in Japan" for an overview of how both alien and Japanese (family) registration work in the general scheme of legal population registration and status in Japan. See also this article for details on published sources used to compile the following statistics.

Top  


Trends

Japan used to be the end of several migration routes in the greater Asia-Pacific region. It is still the end of older migration routes from the south and west and even the north. But today practically every country in the world has a trail that leads some, if not many, of its nationals to Japan every year.

Aliens in Japan, like Japanese, also have access to trails leading away from Japan. And trends of migrations into and out of Japan, by people of all nationalities, are constantly changing.

Many people who have migrated to Japan's prefectures over the past century and a half or so have stayed, and some have became Japanese. And several foreign national populations in Japan today have significant, sometimes large, native, Japan-born components.

It is incorrect to describe Japan's alien populations in Japan today as "immigrants" for at least three reasons: (1) the term often translated into English as "immigrant" means only "entrant", (2) Japan's exit-enter-country control laws do not define an "immigrant" status of residence, and (3) the still large (but rapidly decreasing) population of "Korean in Japan" are migrants who came to the prefectures between 1910 and 1945 as Japanese nationals when Chosen was part of Japan, or their descendants born and raised in the prefectures.

As the following table clearly shows, the past few decades have witnessed fairly steady and recently even sharp increases in the populations of several nationalities of aliens. Many recent migrants to Japan have settled in Japan and most likely will remain in Japan for the rest of their lives.

However, in 2007, the populations of a number of growing nationalities peaked and have since somewhat declined in the wake of a deepening economic recession. Some who had come intending to stay -- most conspicuously Brazilians of Japanese descent and their families, but also others -- have had to leave after losing their jobs, apparently because they lacked the technical qualifications and/or language skills to find other work in Japan.

Top  


Koreans ("Kankoku/Chosen" affiliates)

Koreans -- meaning mostly "Kankoku" (ROK) nationals, and legacy affiliates of the former Japanese territory of "Chosen" -- are listed first because they had been the largest alien nationality cohort until surpassed by Chinese in 2007. In fact, Koreans have been declining as a proportion of all aliens since 1947. Numerically, too, they have been declining since reaching a peak in 1991 (pink).

The total population of "Koreans in Japan" was overtaken by the topulation of "Chinese in Japan" in 2007. However, the population of recent Chinese migrants overtook the population of recent Korean migrants sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s.

The main reason for the leveling off the Korean population in the late 1980s and the decline after 1991 was (1) the impact of the Nationality Law revisions that came into effect on 1 January 1985 (Law No. 45, Showa 59-5-25), which allowed children born to Japanese women married to non-Japanese men to become Japanese at birth and made this provision retroactive for all non-adults, (2) an increase in naturalization from about 1990, and (3) an increase in mortality as the population of legacy-status (pre-postwar descended) Koreans aged.

At some point in the future, the increase in the general non-legacy-status cohort of postwar migrants and their descendants will exceed the decrease in the legacy cohort of pre-postwar migrants and their descendants, and the total Korean population in Japan will again begin to rise. However, in the near future, barring developments on the Korean peninsula that would cause large numbers of Koreans to flee to Japan and remain as refugees, the Korean population in Japan will rank at most fourth, following Chinese and Brazilians, and Filipinos, and may even be surpassed by Indians. Already, the newer Korean population ranks only fourth compared to Chinese, Brazilians, and Filipinos.

For more about the meaning of "Kankoku/Chosen" as an alien affiliation, see "Kankoku/Chosen" and "Chugoku".

Top  


Chinese ("Chugoku" affiliates)

Chinese have been the most steadily and rapidly increasing population of aliens since the late 1990s, and continued to increase in the late 2000s as Brazilians, Peruvians, and Americans decreased. The

For more about the meaning of "Chugoku" as an alien affiliation, see "Kankoku/Chosen" and "Chugoku".

Top  


Brazilians and Peruvians

For two glorious years in 1996 and 1997, the combined Brazilian and Peruvian populations exceeded the Chinese population. Both Latin American populations slowly grew after the war, and jumped a bit when Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972 as there had been some Latin American migration to Okinawa during the quarter century that it was under US administration.

The most significant growth of the Brazilian/Peruvian cohorts began, however, from the mid 1990s, as a result of revisions to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act recommended by the cabinet on 28 March 1989, passed by the Diet on 8 December and promulgated on 15 December the same year (Law No. 79, Heisei 1-12-15). The revisions, which came into effect from 1 June 1990, provided a non-permanent unrestricted-activity status of residence called "Long term resident".

The "Long term resident" status was created for a number of categories of aliens, including foreign-born children and grandchildren of Japanese emigrants. Because the status did not restrict activities, approved aliens were freely permitted to work in Japan. Like other non-permanent aliens, those holding this status could later apply, if they qualified, for permission to permanently reside or even naturalize.

For more about the kinds of aliens who qualify as "Long term residents" see see Aliens residing in Japan: Statuses of residence and municipal registration.

For more about "Nikkeijin" as aliens of Japanese descent are commonly called, see "Nikkeijin" semantics: The legal status of aliens of "Japanese descent".

Top  


Filipinos

Filipinos, though overtaken by Brazilians in 1990, have been a longer and more constantly growing nationality, and will probably soon surpass the now dropping Brazilian population.

The Filipino population in Japan after the end of World War II in 1945 is small but slowly increases, partly through natural growth, and partly through repatriation of Japanese and Filipino family members. The number jumps in 1972, when Okinawa regains its status as a Japanese prefecture.

From 1972, the increase in the Filipino population accelerates. Increases during the 1980s reflect a relaxation in rules concerning entertainer visas and the beginning of a foreign-bride industry that is still going strong. Increases from the 1990s also reflect relaxations in rules permitting work as so-called "long term residents", an unrestricted-activity status introduced in 1991.

Historically, Japan's ties with the Philippines are old and intimate. Japanese settlements in the Philippines goes back to at least the 16th century. Commerce and migration ceased from about the 1640s but resume from the 1870s or so.

The Philippines, a territory of the United States since 1898, became a commonwealt still dependent on the United States for its foreign affairs and defense in 1935. During the early decades of the 20th century, many Japanese migrated to the islands, and start of the Pacific War in December 1941, when Japan invaded the Philippines, tens of thousands of Japanese, some married to Filipinos, had settled in the islands.

By May 1942, American forces on the Philippines had surrendered. In October 1943, the Republic of the Philippines is founded, and in September 1944, after the United States begins its invasion to retake the islands, the Philippines declares war on the United States and Great Britian. In July 1945, General MacArthur declares the islands liberated.

A number of Filipinos were living in Japan at the start of the Pacific War and more come during the war. After the war, there was repatriation in both directions -- Japanese in the Philippines returning to Occupied Japan, and Filipinos in Japan returning to the Philippines.

Top  


Americans

Due mainly to World War II and its outcome in Asia, nationals of the United States (excluding military personnel) ranked as the third largest alien cohort in Japan from 1947 until 1989, when Filipinos moved into third place. The very next year, Brazilians bucked Filipinos back to fourth and Americans to fifth. And in 2000, Peruvians took over fifth and bucked Americans down to sixth.

Though the population of Americans in Japan continued to gradually increase, the rate of increase slowed to the point that the proportion of Americans among all aliens in Japan has been falling since reaching a peak in 1990. The American population dropped a bit in 2009, but whether this marks the start of a downward trend remains to be seen.

Top  


Stateless

The population of stateless aliens lept tenfold from 900 in 1971 to 9,000 in 1972.

Part of this sudden increase was due to the addition of stateless people in Okinawa to the Japan total after the reversion of the islands to prefectural status in Japan on 15 May 1972. Most of the increase, though, appears to reflect the effects of Japan's switch of its recognition of "China" from ROC to PRC on 29 September the same year.

Okinawa had been administered by the United States since its capture in 1945 during the Pacific War.

Okinawan statelessness

There were a number of ways in which people became stateless during the American administration of Okinawa -- most of them by falling through the then much larger holes in the nationality laws of Japan, the United States, but also some other countries. Though Okinawa was under US administration, Japan's Family Registration Law continued to operate for the purpose of register matters, hence Japan's Nationality Law continued to determine qualifications for entering an Okinawan register at time of birth.

A child of an unmarried Okinawan women entered her register and became Okinawan, hence latently Japanese, regardless of its father. If she was married to an alien, however, the child would not qualify for Okinawan (latent Japanese) registration. And if the child was unable to acquire it's alien father's nationality, it became stateless. This was likely if the father was an American national who had not met the age-residence qualifications that would have enabled his foreign-born offspring to acquire US nationality through descent.

Loss of ROC nationality

Japan's switch of recognition from the Republic of China (ROC) to the People's Republic of China (PRC) did not itself cause ROC nationals in Japan to lose their ROC status. Some ROC nationals in Japan sought to divest themselves of ROC nationality just before the switch, since after the switch ROC's embassy and consulates would close.

About half of Japan's ROC nationals were Taiwanese who had become ROC nationals when Taiwan was occupied by, and incorporated into, ROC after World War II. The other half were mainlainders who had been ROC nationals when the war ended, and who had remained ROC nationals after 1949 when communists established PRC on the mainland and drove the ROC government into exile on Taiwan.

Some of these mainland-affiliated ROC nationals established ties with Taiwan. Others were anxious to affiliate themselves with PRC, especially now that Japan was switching its recognition from ROC to PRC. Yet others decided it was time to naturalize and become Japanese.

So long queues formed in front of the ROC embassy in Azabu and at missions elsewhere in Japan, as thousands of ROC nationals with mainland ties renounced their ROC nationality and obtained "loss of nationality certificates". Such certificates would facilitate acquisition of either PRC or Japanese nationality.

Rapid decline in statelessness

By 1982, just ten years after the reversion of Okinawa and the shift of recognition from ROC to PRC, the suddenly higher stateless count quickly melts down to the 2,000 level. Then after 1985, when the revised Nationality Law became operative, it immediately plunges to the 1,500 hundred level, reflecting the revised law's easing of the requirements for naturalization of stateless people.

See the article on Statelessness under Nationality on the menu, for details about the kinds of statelessness that have been possible in Japan.

Top  


Registered alien residents of Japan
Number by country of nationality, 1947-2010
Compiled and computed from printed and web government sources, and designed, by William Wetherall.
Kankoku Philip- State-
Total Chosen Chugoku Brazil pines Peru USA Others less
1947 639,368 598,507 32,889 83 240 66 2,249 4,538 796 1947
1948 648,045 601,772 36,932 167 307 137 2,936 4,944 850 1948
1949 645,749 597,561 38,241 170 298 168 3,217 5,202 892 1949
1950 598,696 544,903 40,481 169 367 178 4,962 6,815 821 1950
1951 621,993 560,700 43,377 237 450 179 7,449 8,736 865 1951
1952 593,955 535,065 42,147 237 341 94 6,922 8,220 929 1952
1953 619,890 556,084 43,778 373 431 76 8,847 9,460 841 1953
1954 619,963 556,239 43,282 372 476 63 9,064 9,636 831 1954
1955 641,482 577,682 43,865 361 435 53 8,566 9,684 836 1955
1956 638,050 575,287 43,372 314 376 27 8,551 9,350 773 1956
1957 667,036 601,769 44,710 316 395 31 9,131 9,909 775 1957
1958 676,983 611,085 44,789 274 365 31 9,773 9,921 745 1958
1959 686,613 619,096 45,255 263 431 33 10,673 10,189 673 1959
1960 650,566 581,257 45,535 240 390 40 11,594 10,880 630 1960
1961 640,395 567,452 46,326 222 444 46 13,154 12,107 644 1961
1962 645,043 569,360 47,096 231 495 61 13,943 13,213 644 1962
1963 651,574 573,284 47,827 263 494 70 15,226 13,772 638 1963
1964 659,789 578,545 49,174 306 497 71 15,626 14,961 609 1964
1965 665,989 583,537 49,418 366 539 88 15,915 15,539 587 1965
1966 668,318 585,278 49,387 388 520 93 16,217 15,875 560 1966
1967 676,144 591,345 49,592 498 539 108 17,090 16,406 566 1967
1968 685,075 598,076 50,445 646 632 124 17,286 17,193 673 1968
1969 697,504 607,315 50,816 748 748 117 17,198 19,798 764 1969
1970 708,458 614,202 51,481 891 932 134 19,045 20,955 818 1970
1971 718,795 622,690 52,333 1,075 863 143 19,199 21,562 930 1971
1972 735,371 629,809 48,089 1,255 2,250 219 21,285 23,196 9,268 1972
1973 738,410 636,346 46,642 1,279 2,424 228 21,614 24,658 5,219 1973
1974 745,565 643,096 47,677 1,395 2,758 292 21,441 25,736 3,170 1974
1975 751,842 647,156 48,728 1,418 3,035 308 21,976 26,545 2,676 1975
1976 753,924 651,348 47,174 1,319 3,083 308 21,222 26,665 2,805 1976
1977 762,050 656,233 47,862 1,279 3,600 308 21,390 28,454 2,924 1977
1978 766,894 659,025 48,528 1,279 4,281 306 21,396 29,392 2,687 1978
1979 774,505 662,561 50,353 1,393 4,757 331 21,651 30,798 2,661 1979
1980 782,910 664,536 52,896 1,492 5,547 348 22,401 32,971 2,719 1980
1981 792,946 667,325 55,616 1,652 6,729 376 23,266 35,447 2,535 1981
1982 802,477 669,854 59,122 1,643 6,563 399 24,825 37,993 2,078 1982
1983 817,129 674,581 63,164 1,796 7,516 432 26,434 41,344 1,862 1983
1984 840,885 687,135 67,989 1,953 9,618 466 27,882 43,674 2,168 1984
1985 850,612 683,313 74,924 1,955 12,261 480 29,044 46,653 1,982 1985
1986 867,237 677,959 84,397 2,135 18,897 553 30,695 51,108 1,493 1986
1987 884,025 673,787 95,477 2,250 25,017 615 30,836 54,369 1,674 1987
1988 941,005 677,140 129,269 4,159 32,185 864 32,766 62,964 1,658 1988
1989 984,455 681,838 137,499 14,528 38,925 4,121 34,900 71,106 1,538 1989
1990 1,075,317 687,940 150,339 56,429 49,092 10,279 38,364 81,398 1,476 1990
1991 1,218,891 693,050 171,071 119,333 61,837 26,281 42,498 103,346 1,475 1991
1992 1,281,644 688,144 195,334 147,803 62,218 31,051 42,482 113,110 1,502 1992
1993 1,320,748 682,276 210,138 154,650 73,057 33,169 42,639 123,319 1,500 1993
1994 1,354,011 676,793 218,585 159,619 85,968 35,382 43,320 132,710 1,634 1994
1995 1,362,371 666,376 222,991 176,440 74,297 36,269 43,198 140,974 1,826 1995
1996 1,415,136 657,159 234,264 201,795 84,509 37,099 44,168 154,033 2,109 1996
1997 1,482,707 645,373 252,164 233,254 93,265 40,394 43,690 172,373 2,194 1997
1998 1,512,116 638,828 272,230 222,217 105,308 41,317 42,774 187,256 2,186 1998
1999 1,556,113 636,548 294,201 224,299 115,685 42,773 42,802 197,702 2,103 1999
2000 1,686,444 635,269 335,575 254,394 144,871 46,171 44,856 223,297 2,011 2000
2001 1,778,462 632,405 381,225 265,962 156,667 50,052 46,244 243,966 1,941 2001
2002 1,851,758 625,422 424,282 268,332 169,359 51,772 47,970 262,717 1,904 2002
2003 1,915,030 613,791 462,396 274,700 185,237 53,649 47,836 275,575 1,846 2003
2004 1,973,747 607,419 487,570 286,557 199,394 55,750 48,844 286,387 1,826 2004
2005 2,011,555 598,687 519,561 302,080 187,261 57,728 49,390 295,083 1,765 2005
2006 2,084,919 598,219 560,741 312,979 193,488 58,721 51,321 307,733 1,717 2006
2007 2,152,973 593,489 606,889 316,967 202,592 59,696 51,851 319,916 1,573 2007
2008 2,217,426 589,239 655,377 312,582 210,617 59,723 52,683 335,680 1,525 2008
2009 2,186,121 578,495 680,518 267,456 211,716 57,464 52,149 2009
2010 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 2010
Kankoku Philip- State-
Total Chosen Chugoku Brazil pines Peru USA Others less
Linear projections for 2005-2009 based on average annual increase during 1999-2004
2005 2,057,274 601,593 526,244 299,009 216,136 58,345 50,052 304,124 1,771 2005
2006 2,095,082 592,861 558,235 314,532 204,003 60,323 50,598 312,820 1,710 2006
2007 2,168,446 592,393 599,415 325,431 210,230 61,316 52,529 325,470 1,662 2007
2008 2,236,500 587,663 645,563 329,419 219,334 62,291 53,059 337,653 1,518 2008
2009 2,300,953 583,413 694,051 325,034 227,359 62,318 53,891 353,417 1,470 2009
Registered alien residents of Japan
Percent by country of nationality, 1947-2010
Kankoku Philip- State-
Total Chosen Chugoku Brazil pines Peru USA Others less
1947 100.0 93.6 5.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 0.7 0.12 1947
1948 100.0 92.9 5.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.8 0.13 1948
1949 100.0 92.5 5.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.8 0.14 1949
1950 100.0 91.0 6.8 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.8 1.1 0.14 1950
1951 100.0 90.1 7.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.2 1.4 0.14 1951
1952 100.0 90.1 7.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.2 1.4 0.16 1952
1953 100.0 89.7 7.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 1.4 1.5 0.14 1953
1954 100.0 89.7 7.0 0.1 0.1 0.0 1.5 1.6 0.13 1954
1955 100.0 90.1 6.8 0.1 0.1 0.0 1.3 1.5 0.13 1955
1956 100.0 90.2 6.8 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.3 1.5 0.12 1956
1957 100.0 90.2 6.7 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.4 1.5 0.12 1957
1958 100.0 90.3 6.6 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.4 1.5 0.11 1958
1959 100.0 90.2 6.6 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.6 1.5 0.10 1959
1960 100.0 89.3 7.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.8 1.7 0.10 1960
1961 100.0 88.6 7.2 0.0 0.1 0.0 2.1 1.9 0.10 1961
1962 100.0 88.3 7.3 0.0 0.1 0.0 2.2 2.0 0.10 1962
1963 100.0 88.0 7.3 0.0 0.1 0.0 2.3 2.1 0.10 1963
1964 100.0 87.7 7.5 0.0 0.1 0.0 2.4 2.3 0.09 1964
1965 100.0 87.6 7.4 0.1 0.1 0.0 2.4 2.3 0.09 1965
1966 100.0 87.6 7.4 0.1 0.1 0.0 2.4 2.4 0.08 1966
1967 100.0 87.5 7.3 0.1 0.1 0.0 2.5 2.4 0.08 1967
1968 100.0 87.3 7.4 0.1 0.1 0.0 2.5 2.5 0.10 1968
1969 100.0 87.1 7.3 0.1 0.1 0.0 2.5 2.8 0.11 1969
1970 100.0 86.7 7.3 0.1 0.1 0.0 2.7 3.0 0.12 1970
1971 100.0 86.6 7.3 0.1 0.1 0.0 2.7 3.0 0.13 1971
1972 100.0 85.6 6.5 0.2 0.3 0.0 2.9 3.2 1.26 1972
1973 100.0 86.2 6.3 0.2 0.3 0.0 2.9 3.3 0.71 1973
1974 100.0 86.3 6.4 0.2 0.4 0.0 2.9 3.5 0.43 1974
1975 100.0 86.1 6.5 0.2 0.4 0.0 2.9 3.5 0.36 1975
1976 100.0 86.4 6.3 0.2 0.4 0.0 2.8 3.5 0.37 1976
1977 100.0 86.1 6.3 0.2 0.5 0.0 2.8 3.7 0.38 1977
1978 100.0 85.9 6.3 0.2 0.6 0.0 2.8 3.8 0.35 1978
1979 100.0 85.5 6.5 0.2 0.6 0.0 2.8 4.0 0.34 1979
1980 100.0 84.9 6.8 0.2 0.7 0.0 2.9 4.2 0.35 1980
1981 100.0 84.2 7.0 0.2 0.8 0.0 2.9 4.5 0.32 1981
1982 100.0 83.5 7.4 0.2 0.8 0.0 3.1 4.7 0.26 1982
1983 100.0 82.6 7.7 0.2 0.9 0.1 3.2 5.1 0.23 1983
1984 100.0 81.7 8.1 0.2 1.1 0.1 3.3 5.2 0.26 1984
1985 100.0 80.3 8.8 0.2 1.4 0.1 3.4 5.5 0.23 1985
1986 100.0 78.2 9.7 0.2 2.2 0.1 3.5 5.9 0.17 1986
1987 100.0 76.2 10.8 0.3 2.8 0.1 3.5 6.2 0.19 1987
1988 100.0 72.0 13.7 0.4 3.4 0.1 3.5 6.7 0.18 1988
1989 100.0 69.3 14.0 1.5 4.0 0.4 3.5 7.2 0.16 1989
1990 100.0 64.0 14.0 5.2 4.6 1.0 3.6 7.6 0.14 1990
1991 100.0 56.9 14.0 9.8 5.1 2.2 3.5 8.5 0.12 1991
1992 100.0 53.7 15.2 11.5 4.9 2.4 3.3 8.8 0.12 1992
1993 100.0 51.7 15.9 11.7 5.5 2.5 3.2 9.3 0.11 1993
1994 100.0 50.0 16.1 11.8 6.3 2.6 3.2 9.8 0.12 1994
1995 100.0 48.9 16.4 13.0 5.5 2.7 3.2 10.3 0.13 1995
1996 100.0 46.4 16.6 14.3 6.0 2.6 3.1 10.9 0.15 1996
1997 100.0 43.5 17.0 15.7 6.3 2.7 2.9 11.6 0.15 1997
1998 100.0 42.2 18.0 14.7 7.0 2.7 2.8 12.4 0.14 1998
1999 100.0 40.9 18.9 14.4 7.4 2.7 2.8 12.7 0.14 1999
2000 100.0 37.7 19.9 15.1 8.6 2.7 2.7 13.2 0.12 2000
2001 100.0 35.6 21.4 15.0 8.8 2.8 2.6 13.7 0.11 2001
2002 100.0 33.8 22.9 14.5 9.1 2.8 2.6 14.2 0.10 2002
2003 100.0 32.1 24.1 14.3 9.7 2.8 2.5 14.4 0.10 2003
2004 100.0 30.8 24.7 14.5 10.1 2.8 2.5 14.5 0.09 2004
2005 100.0 29.8 25.8 15.0 9.3 2.9 2.5 14.7 0.09 2005
2006 100.0 28.7 26.9 15.0 9.3 2.8 2.5 14.8 0.08 2006
2007 100.0 27.6 28.2 14.7 9.4 2.8 2.4 14.9 0.07 2007
2008 100.0 26.6 29.6 14.1 9.5 2.7 2.4 15.1 0.07 2008
2009 100.0 26.5 31.1 12.2 9.7 2.6 2.4 2009
2010 @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ 2010
Kankoku Philip- State-
Total Chosen Chugoku Brazil pines Peru USA Others less
Linear projections for 2005-2009 based on average annual increase during 1999-2004
2005 100.0 29.2 25.6 14.5 10.5 2.8 2.4 14.8 0.1 2005
2006 100.0 28.3 26.6 15.0 9.7 2.9 2.4 14.9 0.1 2006
2007 100.0 27.3 27.6 15.0 9.7 2.8 2.4 15.0 0.1 2007
2008 100.0 26.3 28.9 14.7 9.8 2.8 2.4 15.1 0.1 2008
2009 100.0 25.4 30.2 14.1 9.9 2.7 2.3 15.4 0.1 2009
Cohorts Aliens = persons who do not possess Japan's nationality, including stateless aliens.
Kan/Cho = "Korea" meaning "Kankoku" (Republic of Korea) and "Chosen" (former Japanese territory).
Chugoku = "China" meaning Republic of China (until 1972) and People's Republic of China (since 1972).
Others = Other alien national affiliations (computed).
Stateless = No national affiliation (Mukokuseki).
See "Kankoku/Chosen and Chugoku" for details on "Korea" and "China" affiliated aliens.
Sources Basic figures are from various government reports and other sources.
Design, computations as noted, and cross checks are mine (William Wetherall).
See article on "Aliens residing in Japan" for full descriptions of published sources.
1952 Chosenese and Taiwanese lose their Japanese nationality.
As aliens, most gain special statuses, and most are eligibile for naturalization.
1972 Okinawa returns to Japan after 27 years under America's control and jurisdiction.
Japan changes its "China" recognition from ROC (Taiwan) to PRC (Mainland).
1985 Nationality Law permits ambilineal acquisition and eases some naturalization.
1991 Revised immigration control law introduces unrestrictied activity "Long term resident" status.
@ 88,611 people, most Koreans, some Japanese, migrate to DPRK from 1959 to 1967.
Most left Japan in 1960 (49,036) and 1961 (22,801), hence the sharp drops.
See Homusho Nyukan 1971, page 96, Table 40 for details.
@ Peak populations of listed alien affiliations.
1972 jump in statelessness reflects mainly Japan's switch of recognition from ROC to PRC.
From 1991, decrease in special status Koreans overtakes increase in general status Koreans.
From 2007, economic recession results in drops in several populations, most notably Brazilians.
@ Increasing Chinese population overtakes decreasing Korean population.
Ordinary status Koreans increasing but special status Koreans decreasing faster.

Top