• Kyodo

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Iwanami Shoten Publishers only plans to hire people with personal connections with the company, the long-established firm said.

Following the announcement Thursday, the publisher will require job applicants to submit letters of introduction from authors of books published by Iwanami or introductions by its employees.

The news triggered criticism from people that the decision will deprive graduating students of an equal opportunity, and labor minister Yoko Komiyama said Friday the ministry will question the publisher on the issue. “We would like to check the case with the company as soon as possible,” he said.

Iwanami Shoten is popular among job seekers, drawing more than 1,000 applicants every year although the company usually hires only a few new recruits.

An Iwanami official said the restriction will be introduced to cut time and costs in recruitment activities. “We hope would-be applicants will find some connections by themselves,” the official said.

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