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Japan immigration

Japan's unique recruitment system leaves foreign students behind

Support from universities needed to explain timing and techniques of job hunting

"International students tend to want to join large companies to reassure their relatives back home," said Yuji Kobayashi, senior researcher at Persol. "Because they narrow down their applications, time passes without them getting any offers, and they have to go on to higher education or return home."

TOKYO -- A woman in her 20s from Taiwan who had finished her two years at a Japanese graduate school in March landed a new job with a foreign-affiliated company in Tokyo in December. She finally was able to work in finance, as she wanted -- but two years behind other students in her academic year who were already pursuing their own careers.

Just eight months after starting her studies, in December 2019, she had learned that most of her peers had already found jobs after graduation. She hurried to apply to about 80 companies, but none was able to hire her. She barely managed to get a job at startup company, but after starting there last spring could not give up on her dream to work in finance and eventually decided to quit.

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