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Japan’s population of foreign nationals drops for first time in 48 years

Japan’s population of foreign nationals dropped for the first time in 48 years, led by Brazilians, as the nation’s auto industry cut factory jobs after the global financial crisis.

Registered foreign residents fell 1.4 percent to 2,186,121 as of Dec. 31 2009, according to a Ministry of Justice report released July 6. Japan has a population of about 127 million.

A 14 percent fall in the number of Brazilian residents, many of whom worked in the car industry and are of Japanese descent, was one of the reasons for the overall decline, ministry spokesman Yuji Fukui said.

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