Nearly half of the foreign people who applied for refugee status in Japan in 2017 were in their 20s, the Justice Ministry said Friday.
The data indicate many people apply for refugee status to work, the ministry claimed.
The number of applicants came to 19,629, up 8,728 from the previous year and up one from the preliminary figure released in February, the ministry said.
Of the total, men and women in their 20s accounted for 48 percent and 46 percent of the applications, respectively.
The ratio for applicants aged between 20 and 34 exceeded 60 percent for both sexes, while those 19 or younger accounted for less than 10 percent of the applicants.
In 32 European countries, 30 to 40 percent of those seeking refugee status are younger than 18, the ministry added.