A team of international students is conducting an online survey to collect input from foreign workers in Japan and urge changes in tradition-bound Japanese companies, the group said Monday.

The survey targets non-Japanese who have lived in Japan and Japanese who have returned home after living abroad.

Respondents are asked to select main hindrances to working comfortably at Japanese firms, such as the corporate culture of after-work socialization or unfair review systems.

It also asks open-ended questions about issues such people have faced while applying for a position or working at a Japanese company.

Although many non-Japanese — both international students and foreign workers — have complained about the job-hunting process in Japan as well as workplace discrimination, their concerns have not been widely discussed in an extensive manner, according to Austin Zeng, a student from Singapore at the University of Tokyo who is leading the project.

The student group belongs to the Japan Association for Promotion of Internationalization, which conducts research on the career paths of international students in Japan.

“I believe many Japanese firms are acknowledging the grievances (of foreign workers),” but they don’t know what exactly they are, Zeng told The Japan Times. “I want this survey to convey the clear voices of respondents by clarifying the problems” foreign workers face, he said.

The team is hoping that at least 1,000 such people will take part in the survey.

The results, which will be sent to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, are to be released by the end of November.

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