Japan Sees 9 Years Of Population Decline

Japan sees 9 years of population decline

Japan's population has fallen for 9 years in a row, while the capital, Tokyo, keeps growing.

The Internal Affairs Ministry says Japan's population was 125.2 million as of January 1st this year. It's been dropping since it peaked 2009.

There were 374,000 fewer people than last year -- the largest drop since the survey began in 1968. The decline hit its highest margin for the 4th straight year.

Births last year were the lowest since 1979, at about 948,000.

Only 6 of Japan's 47 prefectures grew -- Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba in the Kanto metropolitan area, as well as Okinawa and Aichi.

Tokyo recorded growth of about 70,000, to more than 13 million. It's the 22nd year in a row of increase.

Hokkaido's population fell by 34,800, the greatest drop among the prefectures for the 6th straight year.

Foreigners with a residence card topped 2.49 million, the largest figure since the Internal Affairs Ministry began compiling data 5 years ago.