Vietnamese 2nd largest foreign population in Japan

People from Vietnam became the second-largest foreign population in Japan last year.

Japan's Immigration Services Agency says there were about 2.89 million foreign nationals in Japan at the end of last year, down about 46,000 from the previous year.

By country and region, China topped the list with 778,112 people, followed by Vietnam with 448,053 and South Korea with 426,908.

Vietnam accounted for more than 15 percent of the total, posting an increase of more than 10 times over the past 10 years.

The country surpassed South Korea for the first time, due to a recent surge in the number of Vietnamese, mainly students and technical interns, coming to Japan.

Meanwhile, 15,875 foreign nationals were ordered to leave Japan for overstaying their visas and other reasons last year.

Nearly 70 percent of them, or about 11,000 people, were working illegally, mainly in the agriculture and construction sectors.

The number of foreigners who were deported was 5,450. That's just over half of the previous year's figure, as the number of flights fell due to the coronavirus.

Foreign nationals who are ordered to leave Japan often refuse to do so and are detained for long periods of time in the country.

To address the issue, the Immigration Services Agency aims to enact a bill to revise the immigration control and other relevant laws to allow foreigners to live with relatives until they leave Japan.