Latinamericans are no longer the largest group of immigrant workers in Japan, revealed Tokyo authorities.
A Labour Ministry document indicates that immigrant workers from East Asia, mostly China and South Korea, are now more numerous than those arriving from Latinamerica. For several years, "returning" Latinamerican descendants of Japanese had been the biggest segment of immigrant workers in Japan.
Brazil, Argentina and Peru have large communities of Japanese-descendent citizens.
A total of 64,400 Latinamerican "migrant workers" entered Japan in 2004, but East Asians outnumbered them with 69,000, a 12,500 jump compared to 2003. Asian immigrants represented 38.4% of this year's arrivals, compared to 35.8% from Latin America.
Japan's low birth rate, with a projected population of 100 million in 50 years time compared to the estimated 127 million in 2006 has spurred a national debate on immigration policy in this traditionally ethnocentric nation.