Tokyo's net population inflow stood at 68,285 in 2023, far exceeding the previous year's 38,023, a survey by the internal affairs ministry showed Tuesday.

The net population inflow, or the number of people moving into Tokyo minus those moving out of the Japanese capital, rose for the second consecutive year, approaching levels before the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the government aims to achieve a balance between population inflow and outflow between Tokyo and regional areas in fiscal 2027, the latest ministry data highlighted a further concentration of people in Tokyo.

Tokyo's net population inflow had fluctuated around the 70,000 to 80,000 range until 2019, before the spread of COVID-19, but plunged to 5,433 in 2021, due to the impact of the pandemic.

The latest result is believed to reflect a recovery in the number of people relocating after pandemic-related restrictions were eased.

In 2023, the Japanese capital's 23 special wards had a net population inflow of 53,899 people. The number of people moving into Tokyo rose 3.3% to 454,133, while that of people moving out of the capital fell 4% to 385,848.

Among prefectures other than Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Shiga, Osaka and Fukuoka saw more people moving in than those moving out.

On the other hand, the remaining 40 Japanese prefectures logged net population outflows in 2023, with Hiroshima recording the largest such outflow. Among them, Miyagi, Ibaraki, Yamanashi and Nagano registered net population inflows in the preceding year.

Of the country's three largest metropolitan areas, the area made up of Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa marked a net inflow of 126,515, up 26,996 from the previous year. The Aichi, Gifu and Mie area registered a net outflow of 18,321 and the Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Nara area logged a net outflow of 559.