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The prolonged recession is apparently motivating young adults to pursue job stability, with the largest group in a recent online poll saying that “office worker” would be their ideal job.

That category was chosen by 22.8 percent of people aged 19 or 20 in the survey by Infoseek Japan K.K. during the yearend and New Year’s holidays that targeted people celebrating coming-of-age ceremonies Monday. There were 246 respondents.

The second most popular career would be “working as a professional,” including a teacher or a doctor, chosen by 22.4 percent, followed by “becoming an entrepreneur,” selected by 20.7 percent.

Less popular is becoming a “freeter,” or job-hopping part-time worker, which was chosen by only 3.7 percent.

About 80 percent of the respondents were college students, and the survey results point to a desire to find a steady job after graduation amid worsening job market conditions, company officials said.

Evacuees come of age

Forty-three people evacuated from volcanic Miyake Island in the Izu islands in 2000 attended a Coming-of-Age Day ceremony Monday at a hotel in Tachikawa, western Tokyo.

It was the third such ceremony attended by young adults from Miyake Island, whose approximately 3,850 residents were evacuated in September 2000 due to volcanic eruptions. As with every year, this year’s ceremony is for people who have turned 20 since last April 1 or will do so by March 31.

Of the 53 Miyake islanders whose 20th birthday falls within this period, 43 attended the ceremony.

The participants all come from the village of Miyake and included those who had been in their last year of high school when they were forced to leave their homes.

Representing his peers, Tsutomu Asanuma, who now lives with his family in Adachi Ward, Tokyo, told the ceremony, “I had wanted to mark the coming-of-age ceremony on Miyake Island. We hope to think and act in a way that contributes to rebuilding the island.”

Miyake, about 130 km south of Tokyo, has been experiencing volcanic activity since June 2000, with release of volcanic gas on the island still continuing.

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