Some foreign students find job-hunt niche

Kyodo News

At the same time university students are having increasing difficulty landing jobs after graduation, the job market is becoming a bit more promising for foreign students studying in Japan.

Leading small and midsize enterprises are engaged in a fierce battle with major enterprises as they look for foreign students to help their overseas business survive.

“We would like to begin recruiting immediately if there are personnel that meet our conditions,” said an official in charge of personnel affairs at Sasakura Engineering Co., an Osaka-based machinery producer attending a joint-enterprise orientation meeting in the city for the first time on Jan. 15.

The company is stepping up efforts to recruit Chinese students to expand business in China. It is looking for new business partners because its domestic partners have shifted their plants overseas.

The personnel official said Sasakura plans to bolster recruitment of foreign students studying in Japan as it looks to expands in Asia.

The orientation meeting was sponsored jointly by Pasona Global Inc., a Tokyo-based company that helps foreign students find jobs, and the Osaka Prefectural Government.

In addition to major manufacturers like Sharp Corp. and Panasonic Corp., 61 companies ranging from middle-ranking producers and retailers to gardening companies and accounting offices in the Kansai and Kanto regions attended the meeting, expanding the list of attendees to more than the originally scheduled 50 companies and offices.

About 1,100 foreign students, mostly from China, came to the meeting.

“I want to work for an enterprise where I can make a significant contribution and which is eager to recruit. I would also like to participate in starting up an overseas venture,” said Zhang Jianhong, 28, a business major from Fujian Province who is studying at a university in Nara Prefecture.

For the most part, he visited the booths of leading small and midsize enterprises, which seems to indicate foreign students are looking at more than just size and reputation in making their choices.

In analyzing the trend among recruiters taking part in the meeting for the first time, Tomoyuki Ichikawa, vice president of Pasona Global, said companies are looking hard for internationally oriented staff.