Japan’s population marks slowest growth in 2010

Japan’s population stood at 128,057,352 as of Oct. 1, 2010, up 0.2 percent from five years earlier, marking the slowest growth since the once-in-five-years census began in 1920, the final results of the survey showed Wednesday.

When non-Japanese residents are excluded, the population dropped by about 371,000, or 0.3 percent, decreasing for the first time since 1975, when it began compiling the population of Japanese citizens separately from non-Japanese, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said.

“While Japan has entered an era of population decline, its total population has been flat because of an increase in foreign nationals,” a ministry official said.

The number of non-Japanese residents rose 5.9 percent, or about 93,000.