What Does Japan Think About Its Foreigner Population?

Unseen Japan
4 min readJun 7, 2024

A survey released earlier this year reveals what Japanese citizens think about increased immigration — and shows a substantial split by age.

Picture: Undrey / PIXTA(ピクスタ)

By Jay Allen

More foreigners are coming to Japan as tourists — but more are also moving here and calling Japan home. How does that sit with Japanese citizens? A new analysis of data from the Japanese government shows that, while Japan’s older population is resistant, its younger citizens don’t seem to mind as much.

An age split in foreigner acceptance

Japan saw a record three million tourists come to the country in March 2024. That flood hasn’t abated since.

Along with tourism, Japan’s foreign population is increasing. With immigration restrictions fully lifted in 2023, Japan saw a 10.9% increase in foreign residents for a total of 3,410,922 people. That number is likely to increase, as Japan’s government is considering opening four new work categories for foreigners who wish to work here.

With that increase, it’s fair to ask: what do Japanese citizens think about their country’s shifting demographics?

The data, analyzed by Nikkei, isn’t new. Japan’s Immigration Services Agency ran they survey in 2023, asking 10,000 Japanese citizens age 18…