Photo/Illutration Technical interns from China and Vietnam work at a fish processing plant in Japan. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The Japanese population in Japan fell 505,000 from the previous year as of Jan. 1, 2020, the highest on record since figures were first kept in today's manner in 1968.

The decline marked the 11th consecutive year of decrease, after peaking in 2009, according to the internal affairs ministry, which released the population survey based on the Basic Resident Register on Aug. 5.

The number of foreign nationals who reside in Japan increased by about 199,000, accounting for more than 2 percent of the nation's total population for the second consecutive year.

The total population shrank by about 305,000 compared to the previous year to about 127,138,000.

The Japanese population has been falling for 11 years in a row to about 124,271,000.

The number of Japanese births totaled about 866,000, the fewest since fiscal 1979, while the number of Japanese deaths reached a record high of about 1.378 million.

Across Japan, Tokyo reported a total increase of 68,000 in the population, while Kanagawa and Okinawa prefectures also recorded population increases. But the other 44 prefectures experienced decreases.

The number of foreign nationals who live in Japan increased by 7.48 percent from the previous year to about 2.866 million, marking the sixth consecutive year of increase. The ratio to the total population climbed from 2.09 percent the year before to 2.25 percent.