Over half a million foreigners left Japan since March 11; but 300,000 came in.

More figures out from the Japanese Ministry of Justice, as reported by Kyodo.

The big news is that people are going in and out of Japan all the time. When you factor in how many foreigners left on re-entry permits, it’s clear that there were not that many flyjins.

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9 comments

  1. chuckers · April 15, 2011

    It really isn’t clear how many of those incoming foreigners are coming in on re-entry permits. Please factor in all the Aid workers and foreign embassy employees that came in to help process things.

    • hoofin · April 16, 2011

      Good point. It would be quite a thing, if there were in fact a couple hundred thousand of these coming in.

  2. ken44 · April 16, 2011

    Why is there this obsession in the gaijin community over who left and who stayed? None of the Japanese I have spoken with ever heard the term “flyjin” or cared if we took off.

    • hoofin · April 16, 2011

      “Obsession” is a bit of a loaded word. I am just talking about the social phenomenon. It isn’t so much whether Japanese are into this, but rather that so many Japan-side expats were.

      • Kei · April 21, 2011

        “It isn’t so much whether Japanese are into this, but rather that so many Japan-side expats were. ”

        Thank you.

  3. Tom M · April 16, 2011

    > When you factor in how many foreigners left on re-entry permits, it’s clear that there were not that many flyjins.

    Two points:
    -I always purchase a multiple re-entry visa every time I renew my visa, regardless of any travel plans. All of the foreigners that I know around me seem to do the same, too.

    -Flyjin: It seems that you are defining it as someone who leaves (in face of danager) and will not return. My understanding was just leaving (in face of danager); no conditions on returning or not. Again, see the above point where just having a re-entry visa is not necessarily evidence of plans on returning.

    • hoofin · April 16, 2011

      Tom, I don’t know what the exact definition of Flyjin is, since it was a word coined, in its recent usage, on March 17. I think your first definition, (“someone who leaves (in face of danger) and will not return”) is the more, if I can say, traditional, use of it. But I suppose people who left Japan and came back are also being considered Flyjin.

      I was thinking about this the other day, that “fly”, at least in the hip hop community of the early 1990’s, meant attractive or cool. I learned about a show, sometime after its appearance on TV, called “In Living Color“. The dancers in the beginning were called the Fly Girls. I don’t think that use of the word “fly” caught on outside of the African American, or even the hip-hop interested community, although maybe there was a TV show recently that referred to flight attendants as “fly girls”, making a play on two uses of the word.

      I am near certain that Flyjin must have been used before 3/17, but not commonly. And it may have been used either as a derivation from the hip-hop scene, which is still quite popular in Shibuya, or in reference to foreigners who get on planes and go places.

  4. Michael · April 18, 2011

    You wrote: “When you factor in how many foreigners left on re-entry permits, it’s clear that there were not that many flyjins.”

    It is not clear to me. What relevance does a re-entry permit have to the number of flyjin? I would think that they would still be a flyjin whether they come back or not.

    • hoofin · April 18, 2011

      The ministry said that a number of the people who left were coming from nearby Asian countries. Few people make the point that it would make sense that immigrants from Asia would, maybe, want to return home for a while.

      As it goes with re-entry permits, a number of people have commented to me that the multiple re-entry permit lets people stay out for some time, or leave and come back, leave and come back.

      I am in the camp that says the Flyjin is a very small number. I am on the fence as to whether people who went home for a break last month are part of the phenomenon, or if it’s just people who felt like Japan was too dangerous to live in.

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