Aiming to secure capable manpower and to grab more business overseas, Japanese companies are increasingly looking to hire foreign people who have studied in Japan, according to a recent survey.

The survey, released last week by Disco Inc., a Tokyo-based recruitment consulting firm, shows that 35.2 percent of 539 firms across the country said they have hired or plan to hire foreign students in the 2013 business year after they graduate, but the figure increases to 48.4 percent when it comes to their plans for 2014.

Bigger firms, with at least 1,000 employees, appear to be more willing to hire foreign students. Of all respondents, 123 were bigger companies, of which nearly 70 percent said they plan to hire such graduates next fiscal year.

The nationality of the students that companies want to hire indicate a keen interest in the Asian market. The respondents were asked to chose up to three nationalities, and 40.9 percent of the companies said they are looking to hire Chinese nationals, while 24.2 percent answered Vietnamese and Thais.

Meanwhile, 90 percent of the firms that have hired international students this fiscal year said the number ranged from one to five.

About a half of the new employees majored in the humanities or the arts for their undergraduate studies, and 32.6 percent graduated with a master’s degree in the sciences.

The most popular reason for hiring international students was to secure the most talented people possible.

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