• Kyodo

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Japan's population declined to 126.65 million as of Jan. 1, dropping by the biggest number and margin since 2013, reflecting a fall in resident foreigners due to tighter border controls resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Wednesday.

The population came to 126,654,244, dropping by 483,789 or 0.38% from the previous year, the largest decline since 2013 when the figures started to include resident foreigners, according to the data released by the internal affairs ministry.

The number of people leaving Japan surpassed those entering the country, contributing to the first drop in seven years of resident foreigners at 2,811,543, down 55,172 from 2020.

The number of Japanese decreased 428,617 to 123,842,701 in the 12th straight year of decline, with deaths outnumbering births in the graying society.

Japan's annual number of newborns fell to a record low of 843,321, while the number of deaths came to 1,373,929, down slightly from the previous year.

People aged 65 or older accounted for 28.73% of the entire population, up 0.32 percentage point from a year earlier. The ratio of people between ages 15 and 64, regarded as the working population, accounted for 59.09%, down 0.20 point.

By region, 42 of Japan's 47 prefectures saw their population fall, with Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, as well as Okinawa, seeing a rise in their numbers of residents.

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