Number of foreign nationals entering and Japanese citizens departing Japan in 2018 (Heisei 30)

Press release

March 22, 2019 (Heisei 31)
Immigration Services Agency

  • 30,102,102 foreign nationals entered Japan, an increase of 2,673,320 people compared to the previous year and a record high
  • 18,954,031 Japanese nationals departed from Japan, an increase of 1,064,739 people compared to the previous year and a record high

1. Foreign nationals who entered Japan

The number of foreign nationals who entered Japan in 2018 (including re-entrants) was 30,102,102, an increase of 2,673,320 people (+9.7%) compared to the previous year. Excluding re-entrants, the number of new arrivals was 27,574,232, an increase of 2,482,212 people (+9.9%) compared to the previous year and a record high (see Fig. 1-1, Table 1).
The total number of new foreign nationals who entered Japan by status of residence was "Temporary Visitor" (27,054,549 people, a 9.9% increase compared to the previous year) at the highest and making up about 98.1% of the national total, followed by "Technical Intern Training (i) (b)" (137,973 people, a 14.8% increase compared to the previous year), and "Student" (124,269 people, a 0.8% increase compared to the previous year) (see Table 2, Table 3).
The total number of foreign nationals by nationality/region was the Republic of Korea (7,325,595 people, a 5.5% increase compared to the previous year) at the highest, followed by People's Republic of China (around 5,952,742 people, a 23.0% increase compared to the previous year), and the Republic of China (Taiwan) (around 4,407,523 people, a 4.2% increase compared to the previous year) (see Fig. 2, Table 3, Table 4).

(Note 1) The "number of foreign nationals entering Japan" published by our department reflects the number of people who were granted a status of residence with landing permission at the time of entry to Japan and the number of special permanent residents. The "number of foreign national travelers visiting Japan" (2018: 31,190,000 people) published by the Japan Tourism Agency includes the number of cruise ship tourism landing permissions, port of entry landing permissions, and transit landing permissions. It excludes the number of foreign nationals and special permanent residents entering Japan with "Permanent Resident," "Spouse or Child of a Japanese National," "Spouse or Child of a Permanent Resident," or "Long-Term Resident" status of residence.
(Note 2) "Re-entrants" refers to the foreign nationals who reside in Japan mid to long-term for work or studies and have re-entered Japan after temporarily departing for sightseeing, visiting home, or business.
(Note 3) The number of foreign nationals entering Japan by country/region in last year's press release will be published in the upcoming immigration control statistics annual report.

2. Cruise ship tourism landing permissions

The total number of foreign nationals who were granted cruise ship tourism landing permission in 2018 was 2,337,803 people, a decrease of 111,496 (-4.6%) compared to the previous year (see Table 10, Table 11).
The total number of foreign nationals granted cruise ship tourism landing permission by nationality/region was the People's Republic of China (1,901,192 people, a decrease of about 6.5% compared to the previous year and making up around 81.3% of the total) at the highest, followed by the Republic of China (Taiwan) (269,822 people, an increase of about 1.4% compared to the previous year), and Hong Kong (42,468 people, a decrease of about 12.5% compared to the previous year) (see Table 11).
In 2018 (Heisei 30), the number of ports of entry landing permissions was 13,331, an increase of 114 (+0.9%) compared to last year, and the number of transit landing permission was 5,235, an increase of about 256 (+5.1%) compared to last year, demonstrating an increase in both (see Table 10, Table 12, Table 13).

(Note 1) "Cruise ship tourism" landing permissions are granted for a period of no longer than 7 or 30 days by the Minister of Justice to foreign nationals arriving on cruise ships (passenger vessels) for the purposes of sightseeing, on the condition that they return to their ship before it departs.
(Note 2) "Port of entry" landing permissions are granted to foreign nationals who are stopping in Japan while on their way to another foreign country for the purpose of shopping/resting/etc. near their point of entry (airport or harbor) for a period not exceeding 72 hours.
(Note 3) "Transit" landing permissions are granted to foreign nationals who are arriving on a vessel that is making stops at multiple ports of entry, allowing them to travel by land for the purpose of sightseeing, later rejoining their vessel at a different point of entry. This also applies to foreign nationals who are stopping in Japan while on their way to another foreign country and must transfer from one point of entry (airport or harbor) to another in order to continue their journey. These permissions are granted for 15-day and 3-day periods, respectively.

3. Japanese nationals who departed Japan

18,954,031 Japanese nationals departed Japan in 2018, an increase of 1,064,739 people (+6.0%) compared to the same period of the previous year and a record high (see Fig. 1, Table 1).

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