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Hard Numbers: Japan’s gaijin population grows, Fed bumps up rates again, Hunter Biden’s plea goes bust, India plays games with new tax, Italian grandmas enforce order

Collage of an old Japanese woman, a Japanse flag with a senior citizen, and a Japanese father with his child
Luisa Vieira

2.99 million: The number of foreign nationals living in Japan has reached a record 2.99 million, according to new census data. Those gaijin, as they are known, are partly offsetting a broader trend of Japan’s shrinking and rapidly aging population. The country’s population has fallen for 14 consecutive years.

22: Although US inflation has been cooling for months, the Fed is still taking no chances, raising interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday to a target range of 5.25-5.5%. That’s the highest fed rate in 22 years, or since “It wasn’t me” was atop the US charts.

14: A deal under which US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter was set to plead guilty to tax evasion and gun charges fell apart on Wednesday when a federal judge said she refused to “rubber stamp” the agreement. Biden and his lawyers have 14 days to negotiate a new one.

28: Indian authorities will meet next week to decide how best to impose a 28% tax on the revenue that gaming companies and online casinos reap from players. Industry leaders say the new tax, announced earlier this month, will cripple India’s multibillion dollar gaming industry, which has boomed in recent years alongside broader use of smartphones.

248,000:Attenzione pickpocket! Venice’s petty criminals have met their match. A group of older women called Cittadini non Distratti (The Non-distracted Citizens) walks the streets there daily, capturing would-be pickpockets on video and shaming them loudly as only a true nonna can. The group already has 248,000 IG followers, and a techno remix of their famous “attenzione borseggiatrici!” cry has racked up more than half a million likes on TikTok. Interestingly, most of the offenders they catch are female — the term for a male pickpocket is borseggiatore.


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