Many foreign students in Japan who hope to find a job in the country are facing an uphill battle, with a pandemic-driven economic downturn having led many businesses to cut recruitment.

The development raises concerns about a potential outflow to other countries of promising foreign workers accustomed to Japanese culture and language as the world's third-largest economy grapples with a rapidly graying population.

According to a survey conducted in July by career information provider Disco Inc., 68.5 percent of 343 international students who responded to the questionnaire and were set to obtain their degrees next March were still without a job offer, up 9.1 percentage points from a year earlier.