About 30% of recent graduates in Japan who have worked as interns have experienced sexual harassment during their internship, a labor ministry survey has shown.

The proportion of such respondents was 30.1%, up 4.6 percentage points from the previous survey in fiscal 2020. Meanwhile, only 0.7% of surveyed companies said they had been consulted on sexual harassment by students seeking jobs or others.

The survey results were presented at a ministry panel meeting Friday. Experts attending the meeting pointed out a "gap in awareness" between students and companies. The ministry plans to accelerate efforts to combat such sexual harassment.

In the survey, the most common type of sexual harassment against job seekers was "sexual jokes and teasing," followed by "persistent invitations to dinner and dates."

The survey also found that 26.1% of women who took pregnancy, childbirth or parental leave in the past five years suffered "maternity harassment," and 24% of men who applied for parental leave faced "paternity harassment."

The ministry also released the results of a survey on women's participation and advancement. Among companies with 100 to 299 employees, which are obliged to draw up plans for promoting female participation in the workforce, the proportion of those with such plans nearly doubled from the previous survey in 2018 to 76.9%.

Among companies with 30 to 99 employees, which are obliged to make efforts to draw up such plans, the proportion stood at 15.2%.