Japan experienced its steepest population decline on record, with the number of Japanese nationals decreasing by approximately 800,000 people, or 0.65%, to reach 122.4 million in 2022 compared to the previous year. This marks the 14th consecutive year of population decline for the country, according to data released by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry based on residency registrations as of January 1 this year.
Notably, Japan’s shrinking population trend is observed across all 47 prefectures for the first time, highlighting the severity and universality of the issue.
Simultaneously, the number of foreign residents in Japan has reached a new milestone, reaching almost three million people. This surge in foreign residents emphasizes the increasing role non-Japanese individuals play in the country’s socio-economic landscape, particularly as Japan grapples with an aging and shrinking population.
The data underscores the pressing challenges Japan faces in addressing its demographic shifts, and it also sheds light on the growing importance of foreign residents in contributing to the nation’s workforce and society as a whole.