• Kyodo

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A Japanese university and a public job placement office in Tokyo signed an accord Thursday to support foreign students seeking jobs in Japan — the first such agreement concluded in the country.

Sophia University and Hello Work Shinjuku will cooperate in explaining the Japanese recruitment process to foreign students in a bid to encourage them to work in the country, according to the university and the labor ministry.

About 300,000 overseas students were studying at Japanese higher education institutions and language schools as of May 1 last year, and approximately 60,000 graduate every year, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Around 65% of international students said they want to work in Japan after graduation, but about 35% of the graduates actually secured jobs in the country, the ministry said, attributing the discrepancy to the fact that many overseas students are unfamiliar with the Japanese job-hunting process.

Japan has a unique recruitment process in which a large number of companies hire potential graduates in bulk around the same time each year. University students start seeking jobs by attending job fairs and interviews while they are still enrolled.

Under the agreement, the job placement office in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward will dispatch lecturers to explain Japanese recruitment rules to international students at the university, and provide information on internships and seminars.

Meanwhile, Sophia University, which has nearly 2,000 students from about 90 countries and regions, will inform the job placement office about the needs of job-seeking international students.

"For international students, gaining knowledge (of the job-seeking process) at an early stage can be a great help in entering the employment market," said Sophia University President Yoshiaki Terumichi.

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