Japan’s population fell by 263,727 in the year to April, almost double the rate of a year earlier, according to figures released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on Aug. 7.
Japan’s basic resident register, which records Japanese citizens living in Japan, put the nation’s population at 126,659,683 as of March 31.
This is the third straight year that immigration and new births have failed to keep pace with deaths and emigration, and the largest decline since comparable records began in 1968.
The period shows a record low number of births, 1,049,553, since fiscal 1979. Emigration exceeded immigration by 57,155, the first net outflow of Japanese citizens in five years.
A ministry official attributed the fall in part to the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami.
Fukushima Prefecture, site of reactor meltdowns and radioactive contamination, recorded 2.17 percent fewer residents over the previous year. Iwate Prefecture, also stricken by the quake and tsunami, saw a fall of 1.28 percent.
But seven prefectures recorded growth, including major urban areas Tokyo, Saitama and Fukuoka prefectures. Okinawa Prefecture recorded growth of 0.66 percent.
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