Japanese students demonstrate against Job Hunting System

Last week, there was a demonstration against Japanese job hunting system in Shinjuku, Tokyo. This demonstration was mostly organized by Japanese university students but there were also some working members of society.

This demonstration’s concept is to destroy the system of Japanese job hunting these days. They raised some points they think should be changed. First, considering this depression and high unemployment rate period, students have to start their job hunting process when they are in junior year hence they cannot concentrate on their studying. Second, unlike many foreign countries, Japanese companies are not flexible to hire students who want to get out of the rail Japanese society made. For example, if a student goes abroad and travels the world for a year or so after his graduation, he won’t have as many opportunities to get a job as he could have just after he graduated. Most Japanese companies treat new graduate with very great deal but that is only for them. This tendency also encourages students to get a job before they graduate from university. Third, having these pressures, many students are worrying about getting jobs. Recently, companies to support students’ job hunting have emerged. Demonstration also mentioned these companies should not be allowed. They think these companies are making it worse because they are getting money from these students who are worrying about job hunting by offering them seminars and books.

However, this demonstration is taken as a quite negative issue. Japanese people rarely demonstrate on the streets. People think people who demonstrate are too sensitive. Some people even say that they are complaining these things because they could not succeed to get a job and they are just being bad losers by complaining those things to society.

Are they crazy? I don’t think so. I think people who have a problem should demonstrate to let society notice. These students who protest got many negative comments, but they could let society know that there are some problems in this Japanese society. They may get people’s attention and those who also think that this is a problem but never say it out loud.

One person cannot change the society but using the power of people and the media, it may work. I respect their courage to demonstrate.

by Naoko Matsumoto

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2 thoughts on “Japanese students demonstrate against Job Hunting System

  1. As a person who is currently busy job hunting… I feel like the Japanese companies are not flexibe at all. Like the author mentioned, Japanese students must start looking for jobs during the junior year, which is very unusual for countries such as in Europe. A lot of my friends in Europe took a gap year after they graduated from college to travel around the world, and experience something they couldn’t in their college life, and cannot when they start working.
    Japanese companies are not flexible also in the way that students MUST all dress in black suits, wear white shirts, girls must tie their hair if it is long, it is definitely not acceptable to wear jewelries, have your hair in colors other than black, have particular job hunting bags and so on…
    Where did our identity go?
    We cannot be unique in the process of job hunting in Japan and yet, we must prove to the companies that we are better than other students.
    I can understand why students demonstrated against this strange job hunting sytem in Japan.

  2. I have seen the job hunting first hand in Japan and it is insanely thorough, but at times it is truly out of hand. One interview, then another interview, then a test, then another interview. Why can`t they just ask you everything in one test and one interview? I am currently waiting for a reply about whether or not I have a second interview with a company, and it`s keeping me on edge. I had to go to a seminar, take a test, and then a personal one-on-one interview. I think they could make things a lot less stressful. On the other hand, I think it helps them find someone committed to the job because they would show up to the seminars and interviews with no pay. I actually have to work 3 full days with no pay if I receive this other job. They truly search for commitment.

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