Foreigners entering Japan down 91.8% in 2021

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of foreigners who entered Japan in 2021 plunged by 3.95 million, or a record 91.8%, from the previous year to 353,118, the Immigration Services Agency said Friday.

The annual number was lowest since 1966, when some 340,000 foreigners entered. The slump resulted from strict border control measures spurred by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The annual number set a record high for seven straight years through 2019. In 2020, a decrease of 26.88 million was marked.

Of the 2021 total, 151,726 foreigners newly entered Japan, down by 3.43 million, or 95.8%, from the previous year.

There were 37,183 new entrants in January, when restrictions on entry by foreigners for business were relaxed until halfway through the month. The number plunged to 1,467 in February after the relaxation was suspended.

In July and August, when the Tokyo Olympics took place, 47,126 and 17,228 foreigners newly entered Japan, respectively.

The number of new entrants from Vietnam totaled 24,623 in 2021, the largest group by country or region, followed by 19,374 from China and 13,631 from the United States.

By visa status, those with short-stay visas numbered 71,771, including athletes and others related to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, followed by 23,423 with technical training visas and 11,651 with student visas.