A record number of foreign students took jobs in Japan immediately after graduating from universities and vocational schools last year, according to recently released Justice Ministry data.

The number of students, at 15,657, was more than double the 5,878 seen in 2005 and is the result of a government effort to lure skilled professionals, especially in the information technology sector, to boost the global competitiveness of Japanese firms.

Under a plan adopted by the Cabinet in June, the government set the target of raising the employment rate of foreign students in Japan from the current 30 percent to 50 percent.