The number of visas issued by Japan last year marked a record low since statistics became available in 1999.
The Foreign Ministry says embassies and consulates issued about 90,000 visas in 2021. That is only about one percent of the figure from 2019, when a record-high of over 8.2 million visas were issued.
The significant decrease was largely due to the country's border control measures against the coronavirus pandemic.
Most of the visas were granted to foreign technical trainees, or cases based on humanitarian grounds.
By nationality, Vietnam topped the list with more than 15,000 visas, followed by China with over 12,000.
The Japanese government began easing border controls in phases in March. It plans to accept more new arrivals, while keeping the spread of the coronavirus under control.