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Japan’s foreign worker population hits record 1.82 million despite COVID impact

A record 1.82 million foreign nationals were working in Japan as of the end of October last year, government data showed Friday, a 5.5% rise from the year before driven primarily by labor shortages as well as foreign students and permanent residents finding employment.

But while the figures continue a string of consecutive new annual highs recorded since 2013, the year-on-year increase was far below the 13.6% rise in 2019 due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus.

A labor ministry official noted that growth has slowed since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

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