• Kyodo News

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Sony Corp. replaced Toyota Motor Corp. as the most popular company among science and engineering university students for the first time in six years in a recent annual survey by Mainichi Communications Inc., it was revealed Thursday.

Toyota fell to seventh place in the latest survey of science students who are looking for companies to employ them upon their graduation next spring.

Other automakers also saw their popularity slip, including Honda Motor Co., which dropped from 10th place last year to 11th, and Nissan Motor Co., down to 57th from 39th.

“Deterioration of earnings and young people’s shift away from automobiles might have affected automakers’ popularity,” said an official at Mainichi Communications.

The five most popular firms with arts students remained unchanged from a year earlier, including travel agent JTB Corp. in first place, followed by cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. and All Nippon Airways Co.

East Japan Railway Co. rose from 19th place to eighth and Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) from 29th to 15th among such students, who appear to be prioritizing stable earnings in selecting companies amid the recession.

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