The number of people living in Tokyo went up in 1996 for the first rise in five years, due primarily to the recent fall in land prices and a surge in the number of foreign residents, the metropolitan government said Feb. 26.

As of Jan. 1, the population was 11.78 million, a rise of 16,455, or 0.14 percent, from the year before. The average land price in residential areas in 1996 was less than half of what it was in the peak year of 1988.

The number of people who moved out of Tokyo was 438,508, 25,553 less than the year before, while there were 431,545 newcomers, up 1,176 from the previous year, the official said. The natural increase, which represents births minus deaths, was 21,205.

The number of registered foreign residents increased by 1,539 to 262,270, up 0.59 percent. It was the first increase in three years.

By nationality, 402 more Filipinos moved in than left, an increase of 2.21 percent, followed by Americans who increased by 385, up 2.36 percent, and British by 306, up 5.22 percent. Meanwhile, Koreans decreased by 860, representing a 0.9 percent fall, Chinese by 470, down 0.63 percent, and Brazilians by 88, down 0.51 percent.

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