• Kyodo News

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More than 2,000 new graduates in Japan have had their job offers canceled, the worst such toll on record as the global economic downturn forces businesses to review employment plans, a labor ministry survey showed Thursday.

The results of the latest survey found 2,083 of the graduates fell victim to such cancellations and the total is nearly double the previous record of 1,077 marked in 1998 in the aftermath of the collapse of major brokerage Yamaichi Securities Co. in November 1997.

The latest figure also represented an increase of 238, or 12.9 percent, from what was reported in the previous survey conducted in March by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Of the total, 379 were high school graduates, 1,703 were college and junior college graduates and one finished junior high school at the end of the academic year on March 31. Their job offers were canceled by a total of 427 businesses, most of which attributed the decisions to the deterioration of their business performances or bankruptcies.

Along with the data, the ministry revealed the names of 12 firms that canceled offers for 10 or more potential new recruits. Among them were four group companies of leading temp staff agency Radia Holdings Inc., formerly known as Goodwill Group Inc., which combined withdrew 154 jobs.

Radia Holdings disputed the results of the poll, saying the number included students who voluntarily declined to accept offers.

Also in the survey, Tokyo-based chemical products maker Tiers Co. was singled out for having failed to fully explain the reasons for canceling its offers and to help those affected find another job.

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