Vol.32-No.05 May 1,1993
Surge in Illegal Foreign Residents Stops
Foreigners unlawfully staying in Japan numbered 292,791 as of November 1, 1992, according to a Ministry of Justice report released on February 24. The number leapt by 13,899 from the 278,899 recorded in the previous survey, conducted on May 1992, and by 76,392 from the 216,399 registered in the July 1990 survey. The survey is the fi;fth of its kind and has been carried out every year since July 1990. It showed that the number of foreigners illegally staying in Japan has risen but the rate of increase has tended to decline. The rate of increase was 5.0 percent over the previous survey, thus showing only a single-digit percentage increase for the fi;rst time. The number of illegal residents is based upon records of those who enter and exit Japan, which are submitted by foreigners and processed by the Ministry. This fi;gure represents the rough number of foreigners unlawfully staying in Japan. Some margin of error exists in this estimate due to such factors as an inability to precisely check all entry and exit records.
By nationality, those from Thailand illegally staying here were 53,219 (18.2%), followed by 37,491 South Koreans (12.8%), 34,529 Malaysians (11.8%), 34,296 Filipinos (11.7%), 32,944 Iranians (11.3%), 29,091 Chinese (9.9%), 8,161 Bangladeshis (2.8%), 8,056 Pakistanis (2.8%), 7,283 Taiwanese (2.5%) and 6,241 Peruvians (2.1%). Modest growth in the number of foreigners illegally residing in Japan can be ascribed to the fact that Japan suspended exemption of visas based upon an agreement with Iran on April 15, 1992. The number of Iranians illegally staying in Japan has dropped 17.5 percent from the May 1, 1992 survey which showed 40,001 illegal Iranian residents. In addition, illegal Malaysian residents have also decreased sharply. The number fell by 10.4 percent from the 38,529 recorded in the previous survey.
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