Japan cherry blossoms Image Credit: Agencies

The population of Japanese nationals totaled 122,423,038 across the country in 2022, down by 801,000, marking the biggest drop and the first time all 47 of the country's prefectures have seen a decline, government data showed Wednesday.

As of January 1, 2023, Japan's population, including foreign residents, fell around 511,000 from a year earlier to 125,416,877, according to a demographics survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

The population of Japanese nationals declined for a 14th straight year in 2022, with a record low of 772,000 births in Japan significantly exceeded by a record high of 1.57 million deaths, Xinhua news agency quoted the survey as saying.

Meanwhile, the number of foreign residents rose for the first time in three years by 289,498 to 2,993,839 in the reporting year, as the substantial easing of entry restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic facilitated the return of international students and technical interns.

By prefecture, only Tokyo registered an overall population increase due to the high influx of foreigners to the capital, while Akita logged the largest population decrease at 1.65 per cent.