GOJ: Chinese are largest NJ group in Japan as of end-2007


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Hi Blog.  Here are some articles about a matter of some import–at least to the long-established Postwar order of Koreans being Japan’s top-dog NJ residents (in terms of numbers; they still are the most influential in terms of organization).  

As of the end of last year, the Chinese (with higher numbers of immigration, and the dwindling Zainichi Korean population) have overtaken the Koreans to become the largest NJ group in Japan, the GOJ says.

Here are some articles from Kyodo/Japan Times, Mainichi, and Yomiuri (love their respective angles–the Yomiuri just has to point out the issue that some Zainichi Koreans are pro-Pyongyang).  I’ll try to have some analysis in a later post of the GOJ raw numbers being referred to.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo


Chinese now No. 1 foreign group
Kyodo News/The Japan Times: Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chinese became the largest group of foreign residents in Japan at the end of 2007, outnumbering Koreans, the Immigration Bureau said Tuesday.

Of the 2.15 million registered foreigners in Japan, Chinese numbered 606,889, or 28.2 percent, while Koreans totaled 593,489, or 27.6 percent, the bureau said. They were followed by Brazilians, Filipinos and Peruvians.

The number of registered foreigners is about 50 percent higher than a decade ago and constitutes 1.7 percent of Japan’s dwindling population.

Among the registered foreigners are students, spouses of Japanese and “special” permanent residents, most of whom are of Korean descent.

Among registered Koreans, 426,227 were special permanent residents — those who were forcibly brought to Japan from the Korean Peninsula when it was under Japanese colonial rule, and their offspring.

The Japan Times: Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Japan says Chinese are now country’s No. 1 minority


courtesy of Jeff Korpa

TOKYO (AP) — Chinese eclipsed Koreans as Japan’s largest group of foreign residents last year, fueled by an influx of workers and students, the government said Tuesday.

Chinese-speaking residents — from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan — accounted for 28.2 percent of Japan’s 2.15 million registered foreigners at the end of December, while Koreas dropped to 27.6 percent.

As more Chinese have come to Japan, many Koreans — often longtime residents of Japan — have increasingly taken Japanese citizenship, said Koji Nakagawa, a spokesman at Japan’s Immigration Bureau.

Koreans, many of them descendants of laborers brought to Japan during Tokyo’s 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean peninsula, have long been the country’s largest foreign group.

Japan does not grant citizenship automatically to people born on its territory, and many Koreans born in Japan have traditionally kept their North or South Korean passports.

But that tendency is eroding as the younger generation, many of whom do not speak Korean, have adopted Japanese citizenship. The older population of Koreans, meanwhile, has dwindled as they enter their 80s and 90s.

There were 606,889 Chinese residents and 593,489 Korean residents in Japan last year.

Brazilians and Filipinos are Japan’s third- and fourth-largest foreign groups. Americans accounted for just 2.4 percent of foreign residents.

Foreign residents have been steadily increasing and now make up about 1.7 percent of Japan’s population of 127.8 million.

(Mainichi Japan) June 3, 2008


Chinese largest foreign group in Japan

The number of Chinese residents in Japan has reached 606,889, making them the largest group of registered foreigners, according to the Justice Ministry.

The ministry said Tuesday that Chinese had claimed the top spot from Koreans–mainly South Koreans and pro-Pyongyang Koreans–who had held it since 1959.

The ministry believes the number of ethnic Korean special permanent residents is declining because of an aging Korean population. The trend is likely to continue, and the number of Koreans will continue to shrink, it said.

As of the end of 2007, the number of registered foreign residents was 2,152,973, up 68,054 from the previous year. The number of Koreans was 593,489, followed by 316,967 Brazilians and 202,592 Filipinos.

In 1959, when such statistics were first recorded, about 610,000 Koreans were registered, while there were only about 40,000 Chinese.

In 1997, Koreans still remained the largest group, about 650,000, while there were about 250,000 Chinese living in the country.

Since then, the number of Chinese increased rapidly because more Chinese companies that were growing rapidly sent trainees to Japan and more Chinese students came to study. At the same time, the number of Koreans began to decline.

Under the current system, foreigners who stay in Japan for 90 days or more are required to notify municipalities with their addresses and visa statuses.

There are two categories of residents that are approved for permanent stay in Japan.

Descendants of those originally from former Japanese colonies who moved to or were brought to Japan before and during World War II are recognized as special permanent residents. Most of them are ethnic Koreans. Also, foreigners whose contribution to Japan is recognized are given general permanent resident status.

As of the end of 2007, general permanent residents totaled 440,000, surpassing about 430,000 for the first time.

In 1992, the year following the introduction of the category, the number of special permanent residents was about 590,000. The figure has been declining since.

In 2007, the number of registered foreign residents accounted for 1.69 percent of the overall population, up 0.06 percentage point from the previous year.

Tokyo has the largest number of registered foreigners at 380,000.

Aichi Prefecture has the next largest number, with about 220,000, surpassing Osaka Prefecture’s 210,000 for the first time in 2007.

(Jun. 4, 2008)

1 comment on “GOJ: Chinese are largest NJ group in Japan as of end-2007

  • This is very apparent here in Tokyo. I would say the number of Chinese students has increased dramatically even in the last two or three years. This is especially from the explosion in the number of foreign (and mostly Chinese) students you see working part time jobs in places like convenience stores and restaurants. With the number of young Japanese shrinking, I think we will likely see this trend of Japanese universities looking to China continue.


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