There were 8,727 more applications compared with 2016, when 28 people were granted refugee status.
Refugee Agency, who said it calls into question the relevance of Japan’s system granting refugee status.
Four Syrians, three Burmese and 38 other asylum seekers were refused refugee status, but were allowed to stay on in Japan out of humanitarian consideration, according to the ministry.
According to the ministry, applications seeking refugee status were filed by individuals from 82 countries in 2017, most of them in Asia.
No asylum seekers from the top 10 countries were recognized as refugees.