(From AFP)

Hundreds of thousands of Japanese started their first day on the job Friday in an annual ritual born from the country’s fast-disappearing jobs-for-life work culture.

More than 500 recruits pumped their fists in the air and shouted “yacchae, Nissan” (“go for it, Nissan”) at the automaker’s welcoming ceremony, while Japan Airlines’ new hires — clad in black suits and spotless white shirts — tossed paper aeroplanes inside a giant hangar.

New employees of Japan Airlines Group attend an entrance ceremony in Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on April 1.

April 1 is the start of Japan’s fiscal year, a day when new hires — some awkwardly struggling to get comfortable in formal attire — fan out across Tokyo and other major cities to report for their first day of work.

Missing the big day, known as “shinsotsu ikkatsu saiyo” in Japanese, can prove difficult for procrastinators, who often struggle to find jobs after leaving university. Companies visit campuses to get their hands on cream-of-the-crop students before they finish their studies.

Among them was Risa Tsunematsu, who admitted she is slightly wary about making the jump from university to the corridors of a big bank.

“I’m nervous. It’s a new start after university life,” the 22-year-old said. Read more

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