Just as Japan saw a substantial increase in foreign residents in 2022, it also registered a decline in its native population of approximately 800,000 people, marking the biggest drop on the country’s record.
According to the report, the local population has dropped by 0.65%, leaving the total number of Japanese nationals at 122.4 million for the year 2022. This also marks the 14th consecutive year of the population’s decline.
The report attributed the consistent population reduction to the continuous decline in the nation’s birthrate, which has been on a downward trajectory since 2008, registering a record low of 771,801 births in 2022.
More foreign residents: The government data also highlighted the 10.7% increase in the number of foreign residents, reaching an all-time high of nearly 3 million people.
The notable surge in foreign registrations in Japan is also unprecedented as it is the most substantial year-on-year rise since the government began recording statistics in 2013. This data underscores the growing significance of non-Japanese individuals in a nation grappling with demographic challenges.
Overall, Japan experienced a population reduction of just over half a million individuals from the previous year, declining to 125.41 million. Foreign residents now make up approximately 2.4% of Japan’s total population.
Addressing the issues: In response to the demographic crisis, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has implemented a comprehensive childcare package initiative to address declining birthrates.
This package aims to encourage population growth by providing childbirth and rearing allowances and increasing subsidies for higher education. Kishida has pledged to secure approximately 3.5 trillion yen ($24.7 billion) over the next three years for the childcare package.
Kishida’s Cabinet has also approved a plan to broaden the range of job categories available to foreign workers to address the issue of labor shortages caused by the declining population.