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Japan's population shrinks at record rate, losing 276,000 people

Working-age labor force makes up smallest share ever

Deaths have outpaced births in Japan for 13 straight years. (Photo by Wataru Ito)

TOKYO -- Japan's population suffered its largest one-year drop last year, government estimates released Tuesday show, with the country's working-age labor force falling to a new low.

The population stood at about 126.17 million people on October 2019, down 0.22% from a year earlier. The change marks the biggest percentage contraction since comparable records started being kept in 1950.

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