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 White paper on crime 2003 Part 1/Chap.2/Sec.2/1 

1 Trends of foreign nationals entering Japan

  The foreign nationals who newly entered Japan have been on the rise, and they increased by 416,983 (9.9%) from the previous year to 4,646,240 in 2002. Major reasons for this increase may be that the FIFA World Cup was held, international flights increased as the tentative parallel runways at Narita Airport became available, and tourists from China increased due to the events for the 30th anniversary of rapprochement between Japan and China.
  Among the foreign nationals who newly entered Japan in 2002, those from Asia accounted for more than 60% as in the previous year, followed by North America, Europe, Oceania, South America, and Africa. By nationality, the number of those from South Korea was the largest with 1,121,672 persons (24.1%), followed by Taiwan with 848,283 persons (18.3%), the U.S. with 667,296 persons (14.4%), China (excluding Taiwan and Hong Kong) with 272,894 persons (5.9%). In particular, those who came from China (excluding Taiwan and Hong Kong) have increased by about 20% for 3 consecutive years, and attention should be paid to the future trend.
  Among the foreign nationals who newly entered Japan in 2002, "temporary visitor" for sightseeing, etc. had the majority at 92.6%, followed by "entertainer" (2.7%), "trainee" (1.3%), "pre-college student" (0.6 %), "college student" (0.5 %), and "long term resident" (0.5%), etc.
  The number of foreign nationals who illegally stay in Japan is estimated to have decreased since May 1, 1993 when it reached a record high of 298,646, and declined to 220,552 as of January 1, 2003 (down 3,515 persons or 1.6% from the previous year) (Source: Data by Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice).