2 Foreign nationals illegally overstaying
The number of foreign nationals illegally overstaying in Japan (estimated figure as of May 1 in 1996 and earlier years and as of January 1 in 1997 and later years) reached a record high of 298,646 in 1993 and then turned to a decreasing trend. In accordance with the goal to “halve the number of foreign nationals overstaying by the end of 2008” set in a Cabinet meeting on crime countermeasures on December 2003, comprehensive measures such as strict entry inspections and exposure had been implemented in close cooperation with the relevant agencies. As a result, the number decreased to 113,072 as of January 1, 2009 (down 24.5% from the same date of the previous year and down 48.5% from the same date in 2004). Examining the number of foreign nationals illegally overstaying by nationality, etc. revealed that those from the Republic of Korea were the largest in number at 21.4%, followed by China at 16.3%, and the Philippines at 15.3% (Source: The Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice).