In August, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced that, for the first time since 1956, the capital’s monthly population report had recorded a drop.

As of June 1 there were 13.99 million people in Tokyo’s 23 wards, down from 14 million as of May 1. News of the slight decline, believed to be due to the novel coronavirus, came amid talk about how the pandemic might be an opportunity to end the over-concentration of people in Tokyo. Such talk, and efforts at decentralization, have a long but so far futile history.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.