October 29, 2016 2:20 am JST

More foreign students finding jobs in Japan after graduation

TOKYO -- Foreign students are increasingly choosing to stay in Japan after they graduate, with the number of work visas issued to such applicants jumping 21% on the year to a record 15,657 in 2015.

The figure doubled from five years earlier, according to the Ministry of Justice. The country has become a more attractive place to find work as labor conditions have improved.

By category, 3,809 found jobs in sales and marketing, 3,747 in translation and interpretation, and 1,218 in technological development in information processing.

Chinese students accounted for 63% of the total. Including South Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere, Asian students constituted more than 90%. Holders of bachelor's or master's degrees made up 80% of the total.

To work in Japan, international students must change their student visas to work visas corresponding to their occupations. But visas are granted only to those who find work in fields permitted under the law. The Justice Ministry rejected 1,431 applications in 2015.

If the "job content does not match the skills, or if most of the work involves very simple tasks," the applications will be rejected, an Immigration Bureau official said.

Japan had 257,739 foreigners on student visas as of the end of June. The nation is eager to accept foreigners with special skills.

The lower house passed Tuesday a legislative revision to add nursing care as an occupation eligible for visas. If it is enacted, the number of foreign workers in Japan could rise further. Foreign students who get certified as caregivers while in school could land jobs after they graduate.

(Nikkei)

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