October 31, 2000 18:02
The number of foreigners residing in Korea exceeded 500,000 for the first time it was reported Tuesday. According to the Ministry of Justice, the number stands at 500,591 as of October 28. Chinese accounted for 30.6% or 153,930, Americans 17.2% or 86,607, Japanese 7.9% or 40,046 and Taiwanese 4.9% or 24,951. In particular, the number of ethnic Koreans whose nationality is Chinese stood at 88,502 which was higher than that of Americans.
From 1995 to 1997, the number of alien residents steadily increased, however, it dropped sharply in 1998 because of the economic crisis, but has since been on the rise. The ministry said that recent international events such as the ASEM contributed to the inflow of foreigners. One official commented that the number of foreigners is soaring because of the government's internalization policies and the attraction of foreign investments. The number is expected to increase further due to the 2001 Visit Korea Campaign and the 2002 World Cup Games.
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