White paper on crime 2012 Part4/Chapter1/Section1/2
The number of foreign nationals considered to be illegally overstaying in Japan (estimated figures as of May 1 for 1996 and earlier and as of January 1 for 1997 and later) reached the record high level of 298,646 in 1993, but then turned to follow a decreasing trend. In accordance with the goal of “slashing the number of foreign nationals illegally overstaying by half by 2008” set at a Cabinet meeting on crime countermeasures held in December 2003, comprehensive measures including stricter entry inspections and identification have since been implemented in close cooperation with the relevant agencies. This resulted in the number having significantly decreased to 67,065 as of January 1, 2012 (down 14.6% from the same date the previous year), or 30.6% and 22.5% of that of 2004 and 1993, respectively. Examining the number of illegally overstaying foreign nationals as of January 1, 2012 revealed that by nationality, etc. the largest number were from the Republic of Korea (25.2%), followed by China (11.6%), and the Philippines (10.3%) (Source: The Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice).