A mother holds her child in Beijing on January 1, 2016.  Married couples in China will from January 1, be allowed to have two children, after concerns over an ageing population and shrinking workforce ushered in an end to the country's controversial one-child policy.     AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR
A mother holds her child in Beijing on January 1, 2016. Married couples in China will from January 1, be allowed to have two children, after concerns over an ageing population and shrinking workforce ushered in an end to the country's controversial one-child policy. AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR

Tokyo: Japan's population declined to 124.8 million as of January 1, falling by the biggest number since the current survey began in 1968, affected by record-low births, government data has revealed.

With fewer than 1 million births in Japan for a third straight year in 2018, the population dropped a record 433,239 to 124,776,364 for the 10th straight year of decline, according to the data released by the Internal Affairs Ministry on Wednesday.

The number of registered foreign residents, meanwhile, increased to 2,667,199, up 169,543 from a year earlier, with all 47 prefectures seeing a rise in the figure as companies are turning to people from overseas to deal with a severe labor shortage amid Japan's rapidly graying population and declining birthrate, reports Kyodo news agency.

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