TOKYO — Japanese police investigated 11,655 foreigners over various offenses in 2019, up 573 from the previous year but largely unchanged from recent levels, police data showed Thursday.
The data of the National Police Agency, not inclusive of permanent residents, showed Vietnamese and Chinese nationals accounted for more than half of the total, with many of the former investigated over theft and the latter for fake visa and marriages as well as abuse of smartphone payment services.
By nationality, Vietnamese stood at 3,365, or 28.9 percent of the cases, and Chinese at 2,948, or 25.3 percent. They were followed by Filipino at 746, Thai, 509, Brazilian, 508, and South Korean, 454.
The number of foreign residents in Japan hit a record high 2.93 million by the end of 2019, with Chinese making up the largest proportion, followed by South Korean and Vietnamese. The number of foreign visitors also hit a record-high 31.88 million last year, according to government data.
The latest police data showed 5,563 were probed over criminal offenses, down 281 from a year earlier. Of them, 48 were investigated over murder.
A total of 6,092 were investigated over violations of special laws, with immigration law violations, such as overstaying visas, accounting for 4,279 of the cases.
By visa, temporary visitors accounted for the largest group at 2,437, or 20.9 percent, followed by students at 2,121, or 18.2 percent, and those here for technical intern training at 2,103, or 18.0 percent.
There were no recorded investigations of people with the specified skilled workers visa, a new visa introduced in April 2019 to allow more blue-collar workers to enter the country.