Japan’s population has record fall this year

Japan’s population shrank by a record margin in 2010 as the nation rapidly ages, according to an annual estimate released by the welfare ministry Saturday.

The number of Japanese people fell by 123,000, the biggest drop since records began in 1947, the ministry said, an illustration of the demographic crisis the country faces as a smaller working population has to support a mass of pensioners.

It is the fourth consecutive year that Japan’s population has declined. The fall was far larger than the 72,000 registered in 2009, the previous record.

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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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Japan’s Population declines by a record 183,000

Japan’s estimated population decreased for the second year in a row, declining by a record 183,000, or 0.14 percent, from a year earlier to 127,510,000 as of Oct. 1, 2009, government data showed Friday. It was the third year-on-year decline in Japan’s population since 1950 when comparable data became available, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said in a report. Japan’s population previously declined twice — in 2005 by 19,000, or 0.01 percent, and in 2008 by 79,000, or 0.06 percent.