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Japanese population falls for 10 years in a row

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of Japanese people living in Japan as of Jan. 1 fell by 433,239, or 0.35 percent, from a year before to 124,776,364, down for the 10th straight year, the government said Wednesday.

The decline was largest ever in terms of both number and percentage, according to data released by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. Figures are based on data in the country’s resident registry system.

Populations grew in only five of the country’s 47 prefectures. Aichi Prefecture saw its population fall by 4,719, logging its first drop since the current statistics began in 1968.

The combined population in the three most populous areas of greater Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka fell by 13,547, marking the first fall since the start of comparable data in 1975.

Population growth in the Tokyo area, which also includes Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, was offset by declines in the Nagoya and Osaka areas. The Nagoya area is composed of Aichi, Gifu and Mie prefectures, while the Osaka area covers Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Nara prefectures.

Populations rose in Tokyo and the remaining three prefectures in the metropolitan area. Okinawa Prefecture was the only one to mark a natural population increase.

Akita Prefecture incurred the biggest population fall of 1.48 percent, followed by Aomori Prefecture with 1.28 percent and Iwate Prefecture with 1.17 percent.

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