Mar 182011

With all the disaster that took place in Japan last week after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit, it made me wonder… what is the racial and ethnic composition of Japan’s foreign born population?

Interestingly, I was surprised to find out that Japan is actually not very diverse.  In fact, it is very homogeneous. According to the CIA World Factbook, there are nearly 127 million people living in Japan and 98.5% of Japan’s population is Japanese.  Among the 2.5 million foreign born citizens, the majority of them are from other Asian countries.  Within the identified top five foreigners by country, only one Hispanic/Latin country is listed.  Take a guess which Hispanic/Latin country it is?  I’ll give you a hint; it’s in South America… answer, Peru!

Peruvians are among the top five foreign settlers in Japan.  However, they only make up 200,000 in population.  There is one more South American country listed among the top five and, at a higher population count than Peruvians; the Portuguese speaking country of Brazil (Brazil is not considered a Hispanic/Latin country given the fact that it is not colonized by a Spanish-speaking population).

Two other interesting facts I came across while searching that are worth mentioning:

  • As of 2009, Japan was the tenth most populated country in the world.
  • Japan also has one the highest life expectance rate in the world.



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