Affluent Chinese people seeking a better life have long found a new home in countries such as the United States, Singapore and, in recent years, Thailand.

Now, they are increasingly choosing Japan. A new wave of Chinese migrants is flocking to metropolises such as Tokyo and Osaka, upending the luxury housing market and upping the competition for admission into elite international schools.

Fed up with life in their motherland, more and more Chinese are seeking a better life abroad, making the term runxue — the study of running away — a buzz word that has increasingly gained currency in recent years. The causes are many: fatigue from draconian COVID-19 lockdowns, political uneasiness and the ever-intensifying China-U.S. rivalry, as well as a tougher business environment with stricter regulations. Such new realities that have taken hold in China have pushed not only its upper and upper-middle classes to find a sanctuary in Japan, but even tycoons and intellectuals.