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June 03, 2003

Foreign Population Up 4.1%

A record 1,851,758 foreigners were registered with immigration authorities in Japan as of Dec. 31, 2002, a 4.1% increase from the previous high recorded a year earlier, according to data released Friday by the Justice Ministry's Immigration Bureau. The number of foreign nationals staying in Japan to study came to 110,415, breaking for the first time the 100,000 mark targeted by the government in 1983. The number of registered foreigners is equivalent to 1.45% of the nation's total population of 127,435,350 as of Oct. 1. While the nation's overall population grew 2.3% in the past decade, the number of registered foreigners grew 44.5% in the same period. The registered residents are from 183 countries and territories, with Koreans comprising 33.8% of the total, followed by Chinese (22.9%), Brazilians (14.5%), Filipinos (9.1%), Peruvians (2.8%) and Americans (2.6%). Tokyo accommodates the largest proportion of foreign residents, accounting for 18.1%. Osaka, Aichi, Kanagawa and Hyogo prefectures followed. (Kyodo News)

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