In Bleak Economy, Japanese Students Grow Frustrated With Endless Job Hunt

Japanese Students Abandon Studies for Job-Hunting Gantlet 1

David McNeill

Undergraduates at Waseda U., in Tokyo, held a campus demonstration in November to object to Japan's entrenched system of corporate job placement, which makes enormous time demands on students nearing graduation. As the economy worsens, some observers say, the system is beginning to crumble.

Already facing a faltering economy and a shrinking job market, Japanese university students have another obstacle course to cross at this time of year: the country's grueling job-hunting system.

By graduation this spring, many students will have spent 18 months and hundreds of hours preparing for and attending job interviews and recruitment fairs, all but abandoning study for months on end.

Japanese corporations famously prefer their new recruits fresh from their education,