The number of people moving into the Tokyo metropolitan region in 2018 exceeded the number moving out by nearly 140,000, a government report showed Thursday, despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to reverse the trend by 2020 and revive rural areas.
Growth in the populations of Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures was up 14,338 from the previous year to hit 139,868, according to the report by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.
From 2018, the report began covering the number of foreigners moving within the nation’s 47 prefectures in addition to Japanese nationals. When only Japanese nationals were counted, net population growth in the Tokyo metropolitan area was seen rising for the 23rd consecutive year, the report showed.
In addition to those four prefectures, Aichi, Shiga, Osaka and Fukuoka prefectures also logged more arrivals than departures.
Tokyo had the largest net increase of 79,844, followed by Saitama at 24,652 and Kanagawa at 23,483.
Of the country’s 47 prefectures, 39 lost more people than they gained, with Ibaraki seeing the biggest decline of 7,744, followed by Fukushima at 7,421 and Niigata at 6,901.
Of all 1,719 municipalities in Japan, 72.1 percent saw more people leaving than entering.
The report was compiled based on resident registries maintained by municipalities across the country.