Number of visa overstayers plunges 14% to all-time low

Kyodo

The number of foreign nationals overstaying their visas as of Jan. 1 had fallen 14.6 percent from the previous year to 67,065, the fewest cases on record, the Justice Ministry’s Immigration Bureau said.

The total also declined for the 19th consecutive year.

The bureau on Friday credited the drop in overstayers mainly to the use of fingerprint collection and biometric identification systems upon entering Japan.

By visa status, those on short-period visas of up to 90 days accounted for the bulk of the violators, numbering 46,845 — about 70 percent of the total.

By nationality, South Koreans accounted for 16,927, Chinese 7,807 and Filipinos 6,908, the Immigration Bureau said.

When comparable data first became available in 1990, the number of overstayers was roughly 300,000, the bureau said.