A record 2,829,416 foreigners were registered as residents in Japan as of the end of June, bolstered by a rising number of technical interns and workers amid a severe shortage of labor in the country, government data showed Friday.
The figure was up 3.6 percent from the previous high at the end of last year, according to the Immigration Services Agency.
Technical trainees totaled 367,709, eclipsing the number of foreign students at 336,847, while there was a sharp rise in other work-linked visa holders, the agency said.
Those arriving on a visa for engineers and international services stood at 256,414, up 13.6 percent, while 13,038 -- up 17.9 percent -- entered with a visa for highly skilled professionals.
People arriving with a new visa status created in April for blue-collar workers stood at 20, although the number of people who obtained this status had risen to 616 as of Oct. 18.
Given Japan expected up to 47,550 to arrive on this visa in this fiscal year ending next March, the system is apparently off to a slow start.
Those with permanent residency constituted the largest group among registered residents at 783,513, up 1.5 percent.
By nationality, Chinese made up the largest group with 786,241, followed by South Koreans at 451,543, and Vietnamese at 371,755.
The number of foreign residents rose across the country's 47 prefectures, with Tokyo home to the biggest number at 581,446.