Recently the NHK News On-line reported the following:
在留外国人 過去最高の256万人 不法残留も増加
The number of foreigners who resided in Japan was about 2,560,000 as at the end of last year; it continued to break the previous yearly record on the highest number, also by staying beyond the time limits, the number of the foreigners who stayed behind illegally also continued to increase for four consecutive years.
According to the Ministry of Justice Immigration Bureau, as of the end of last year the number of the foreigners residing in Japan was 2,561,848, being an increase of 179,026 people and at a rate of 7.5 %; it renewed the past highest record since 1959 when statistics keeping began.
Categorized by countries and area, China was the highest with 730,890 people, next were followed by Korea with 450,663 people, and Vietnam with 262,405 people that was an increase of 31.2 % from the previous year.
On the other hand, it was pointed out that foreigners staying behind illegally in Japan by exceeding the stay time limits was 66,498 people as of January first this year; it was 1,228 people more than last year and was a continuous increase for 4 years.
The Ministry of Justice pointed out that there were many cases that people after fulfilling the requirement on entering by obtaining permits for short term stay on grounds of sight-seeing etc. had stayed behind illegally and took up employment. Moving towards reducing the number of foreigners who were illegally staying, it was supposed that in addition to strengthening their exposure, to utilize the “Declaration of appearance" in which one could return home by a simple procedure.
It is surprising to note that there are over half a million Chinese staying in Japan.