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News 🆙 Foreign residents in Japan hit a record 3 million


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
We're getting more: according to the Immigration Services Agency, the number of foreign residents in Japan at the end of 2022 rose 11.4% from a year before to a record high of 3,075,213. 🆙

The number of foreign students and technical trainees rose sharply following the easing of COVID-19 border measures, the agency said Friday. The total included 761,563 people from China, the largest group by nationality, 489,312 from Vietnam and 411,312 from South Korea. The figures all increased from a year earlier. By status of residence, the number of foreign students increased by 92,808, technical trainees by 48,817 and specialists in engineering, humanities and international services by 37,221. The number of foreigners granted refugee status under the immigration control and refugee recognition law increased by 128 to 202, while the number of those who were not granted refugee status but were allowed to stay in Japan on humanitarian grounds increased by 1,180 to 1,760. Both totals were the highest on record since Japan established a refugee recognition system in 1982.

I wonder if that will mean that our existence will be acknowledged more.

There was one of those 3 hour special programmes on TV a couple of days ago about the top 30 innovations/changes during the Showa and Heisei eras that have revolutionised life in Japan. Number 30 was 7-Eleven convenience stores (along with an extraordinary amount of product placement), which gives you a general idea of the programme, which had a couple of members of Johnny's Association for no reason other than to promote them and a superfluous quiz format, close ups of tarento reactions and other timewasting nonsense to fill up airtime.

Anyway, what struck me was the relentless use of the word nihonjin. Yes, I get it, it's Japan and most residents are Japanese, but the use was so relentless (once every 2-3 minutes) that it almost seemed intentional. As someone who lived in Japan for the second half of the Heisei era, I felt a bit excluded by the implication that these changes couldn't possibly apply to me as a foreigner.

Don't ask me what number 1 was. I gave up after about 15 minutes (at that point they hadn't yet announced what number 29 was!).
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