Filipinos in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

Filipinos in Miyagi Prefecture have a registered population of 1,481 individuals as of 2022, the 33rd largest group of Filipinos in Japan by prefecture, ahead of Iwate and behind Oita.[1]

Major cities

The largest population (more than one-third) of Filipinos in Miyagi Prefecture is found in the capital city of Sendai, home to 562 Filipino residents. Distant second is Ishinomaki, with 141 Filipino residents.[1:1]

Cities of Miyagi Prefecture with sizable Filipino population.[1:2][2] Darker color indicates higher population.

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Miyagi Prefecture

Miyagi Prefecture (宮城県, Miyagi-ken) is located in the Tōhoku region of Honshu. It has a population of 2,265,724 (1 August 2023) and has a geographic area of 7,282 km2. Miyagi Prefecture borders Iwate Prefecture to the north, Akita Prefecture to the northwest, Yamagata Prefecture to the west, and Fukushima Prefecture to the south.[3]

Sendai is the capital and largest city, and the largest city in the Tōhoku region, with other major cities including Ishinomaki, Ōsaki, and Tome.[3:1]

Map of Japan with Miyagi Prefecture in red.[4]

Population by city, town and village

Except for the small town of Shichikashuku, Filipinos can be found in all cities and towns of Miyagi Prefecture.

City or town 2022 2021
All 1,481 1,393
Sendai 562 520
Ishinomaki 141 136
Ōsaki 96 95
Kesennuma 87 93
Iwanuma 68 55
Tome 59 56
Kakuda 36 29
Natori 34 30
Kurihara 30 38
Higashimatsushima 29 27
Shiroishi 24 24
Watari Town 24 23
Rifu Town 24 15
Tagajō 21 21
Ōsato Town 21 8
Marumori Town 20 18
Yamamoto Town 20 22
Ōgawara Town 19 18
Kami Town 18 20
Shiogama 17 23
Taiwa Town 17 17
Shibata Town 16 16
Zaō Town 12 12
Shichigahama Town 12 11
Misato Town 12 12
Minamisanriku Town 11 12
Onagawa Town 9 5
Shikama Town 8 5
Wakuya Town 8 7
Kawasaki Town 7 5
Matsushima Town 7 7
Murata Town 6 6
Tomiya 5 6
Ōhira Village 1 1
Shichikashuku Town 0 0

Historical population

The Filipino population of Miyagi has not changed much during the last 40 years and now hovers just above 1,000.

Population of Filipinos in Miyagi Prefecture and Tokyo from 1984 up to present.[5][6]

People, news and events

Kesennuma City resident Charito Ito, along with other Filipinas from Rikuzentakata and Ofunato in Iwate Prefecture, finds work as a caregiver for the city’s elderly population after completing intensive language-training classes offered by the non-profit Japan Association for Refugees.[7] (December 2023)

The Kapatiran (Association of Filipino Students in Tohoku) is a student association established in 1990 with the objective of fostering friendship and nurturing life and academic skills within the Filipino student community in the Tohoku region.[8] (July 2023)

Filipino Bishop Edgar Gacutan officially assumes his role as the new bishop of Sendai at the Mototera Koji Catholic Church, becoming the first Filipino prelate in Japan.[9] (March 2022)

The Kapatiran sponsors the Philippine Cool Cafe held at the International Center Station in Sendai City. About 30 people, including local residents and international students, participated and learned about Philippine culture while making halo-halo, a Filipino dessert.[10] (October 2016)

Fifty-two Filipinos from the Tōhoku region (22 from Iwate Prefecture, 26 from Miyagi and 4 from Fukushima) are interviewed regarding their experiences during the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[11] (December 2014)

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III visits Ishinomaki City, one of the hardest hit areas of the tsunami which devastated northeastern Japan during the 2011 Tōhoku disaster, and meets with the Filipino community.[12] (September 2011)


  1. 第3表 市区町村別 国籍・地域別 在留外国人 (Table 3: Foreign Residents by City, Ward, Town, Village and by Nationality/Region. 3 December 2022) (XLSX). e-Stat政府統計の総合窓口. Immigration Services Agency of Japan (7 July 2023). Retrieved 13 December 2023. ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  2. Cities of Miyagi Prefecture with sizable Filipino population. © reon ( CC-BY-SA-3.0. Original graphic © lincun (Wikipedia Commons) CC-BY-SA-3.0. Data used: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan. ↩︎

  3. Miyagi Prefecture. Wikipedia contributors. Wikipedia. Retrieved 18 December 2023. ↩︎ ↩︎

  4. Map of Japan with Miyagi Prefecture in red. © lincun (Wikipedia Commons) CC-BY-SA-3.0. Data used: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan. ↩︎

  5. 都道府県別 国籍(出身地)別 外国人登録者 (Registered Foreigners by Prefecture and Nationality (Place of Birth) 1984 to 2023) e-Stat政府統計の総合窓口. Immigration Services Agency of Japan. Retrieved 18 December 2023. No available data for the years 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991 and 1993. ↩︎

  6. Population of Filipinos in Miyagi and Tokyo. © reon ( CC-BY-SA-3.0. ↩︎

  7. Filipinos find career switch pays off. Kamiya Setsuko. 11 March 2012. Japan Times. Retrieved 20 December 2023. ↩︎

  8. The Kapatiran (Association of Filipino Students in Tohoku) (カパティラン 東北フィリピン学生協会). Sendai Tourism, Convention and International Association (SenTIA). 6 July 2023. Retrieved 20 December 2023. ↩︎

  9. Japan’s first Filipino Catholic bishop formally takes helm of Sendai diocese. 21 March 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2024. ↩︎

  10. フィリピン涼カフェ開催 ~ハロハロ作り通じてフィリピン文化を学ぶ~ Philippine Cool Cafe Held–Learn About Philippine Culture by Making Halo-Halo. Tohoku University Newspaper. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2023. ↩︎

  11. Filipinos in Japan: Narratives of Experience from the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. (PDF) Martinez-Villegas, M. M. (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS)) et al. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2023. ↩︎

  12. Pres. Aquino’s Visit to Ishinomaki City. Embassy of Japan in the Philippines. Retrieved 22 March 2024. ↩︎