Most Chinese who are living in Japan reside in major cities such as Osaka, Yokohama, and Tokyo. Chinatowns were developed in the cities of Kobe and Yokohama. There are Chinese schools that teach the Chinese language. A study that was conducted in 1995 estimated that the Chinese population in Japan was ~150,000, among whom between 50,000 to 100,000 could speak Chinese. In 2000, Japanese governmental statistics revealed that there were 335,575 Chinese residents in Japan. These numbers only include Chinese who do not yet have Japanese citizenship, rather than all people of Chinese descent.
However, Japan's first verifiable Chinese visitor was the Buddhist missionary Hui Shen, whose 499 AD visit to an island east of China known as Fusang, typically identified with modern-day Japan, was described in the 7th-century Liang Shu. Chinese people are also known to have settled in Okinawa during the Sanzan period; the people of the village of Kumemura, for example, are alleged to all be descended from Chinese immigrants.
Chinese restaurants in Japan serve a fairly distinct style of Chinese cuisine. Though in the past Chinese cuisine would have been primarily available in Chinatowns such as those in port cities of Kobe, Nagasaki, or Yokohama, Japanese-style Chinese cuisine is now commonly available all over Japan. As Japanese restaurants often specialise in just one sort of dish, cuisine is focused primarily on dishes found within three distinct types of restaurants: ramen restaurants, dim sum houses, and standard Chinese-style restaurants.
During his time in office, former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara publicly used controversial terms such as sangokujin to refer to Chinese staying illegally in Japan, and implied that they might engage in rioting and looting in the aftermath of a disaster.