JAPAN: Firms turning to foreign students

University students are having a hard time finding jobs amid the economic downturn, with those who have secured employment starting after their scheduled graduation next spring hitting a record low of 57.6% in October, reports Kyodo News. But a new trend among firms to seek more aggressive and proactive employees may be creating more chances for foreign students seeking work experience in Japan, even in the increasingly competitive job market.

According to an August poll by job information provider DISCO Inc, 11% of responding firms said they have employed foreign students since April, and 21% said they plan to do so next fiscal year.

Rakuten Inc, the country's biggest online shopping mall operator, is one of the leading examples of firms opening up to foreign students. It has already promised jobs to 78 students from 17 countries, accounting for about one-sixth of new employees slated to start next spring.
Full report on the Japan Times site