NHK reported at noon that according to the preliminary data of the 2020 national census released today, Japan’s population as of October 1, 2020, fell 0.7% from five years ago to 126,226,568. The network said the figure declined by more than 868,000 from the last survey conducted in 2015, which recorded the first decrease since the census began in 1920. The network noted, however, that the margin of decline slightly narrowed probably due to a growing number of foreign residents and the fact that many Japanese returned from abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic. Among the 47 prefectures, Tokyo posted the largest increase, 549,000, followed by Kanagawa (114,000), and Saitama (80,000). Meanwhile, Hokkaido recorded the biggest drop in the number of residents, 153,000, followed by Niigata (102,000) and Fukushima (80,000).