A record 2,382,822 foreigners were registered as living in Japan as of the end of last year, up 6.7 percent from a year earlier on a rise in the number of students and technical trainees, the Justice Ministry said Friday.
It included 228,588 staying on a trainee visa, up 18.7 percent and also a record high, and 277,331 with a student visa, up 12.4 percent. Meanwhile, the number of foreigners illegally staying in the country stood at 65,270 as of Jan. 1, increasing for the third consecutive year.
By nationality, Chinese constituted the largest group of registered foreign residents at 695,522. South Koreans came second at 453,096, followed by Filipinos at 243,662.
Vietnamese jumped 36.1 percent to 199,990 on a growing number of students and technical intern trainees, apparently affected by Japanese companies increasingly investing in the country.
Among those illegally staying in Japan, 13,265 were from South Korea, 8,846 from China and 6,507 from Thailand, the ministry said. The number of Vietnamese also grew in the category, up 34.9 percent to 5,137, as some trainees are believed to have been staying even after their resident status expired.