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Sunday, 26 August, 2001, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
Hitachi 'joins job cutting spree'
Toshiba computer
The worldwide IT slump has hit Toshiba
Hitachi is poised to join fellow Japanese tech giant Toshiba in announcing 20,000 job cuts worldwide, a report has said.

Hitachi, Japan's biggest electronics manufacturer, is entering the "final stage" of deliberations over the cuts, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper has said.

The news follows a report on Saturday that Toshiba, the country's largest chipmaker, is to axe 20,000 jobs.

If confirmed, the moves will further stun a Japanese tech sector reeling for the announcement a week ago that Fujitsu is to cut 16,400 posts, including 900 at the UK ICL and US DMR divisions.

NEC, which Toshiba replaced as Japan's largest chipmaker, has revealed 4,000 cuts.

The news will also deepen the gloom surrounding Japan's economy, which has reported minimal growth and slumping exports, while unemployment has remained at a record high.

Profits downgrade

Hitachi's job cut plans will be unveiled later this month in a statement announcing the firm has revised down its profits forecast for the year to March next year, the Yomiuri Shimbun said.

The company is expected to implement shake-ups in its semiconductor and electronics parts divisions, the paper said.

Resources will be focused instead on areas such as the firm's software unit which are reporting stronger growth.

Hitachi, which employs 340,000 workers worldwide, has yet to comment on the report.

The firm has already announced plans to reduce spending in semiconductor divisions by more than one third to 140bn yen in the year to March.

'Deciding details'

Toshiba is set to announce its cuts next week, although a company spokesman on Sunday declined to comment in depth.

"We are trying to decide on details for an announcement as soon as possible," the spokesman said.

The shake-up is set to affect most the firm's home appliances and heavy electrical divisions.

Of the 20,000 jobs, about 14,000 will go from Japan-based operations, with the rest abroad, reports have said.

See also:

25 Aug 01 | Business
Toshiba 'to axe 20,000 jobs'
20 Aug 01 | Business
Fujitsu to cut 16,400 jobs
27 Jul 01 | Business
Fujitsu and NEC profits slide
27 Jul 01 | Scotland
NEC confirms job cuts
26 Jul 01 | Business
Job cuts top 50,000
20 Feb 01 | Business
Tech slump spreads to Japan
11 Jul 01 | Business
Japan's economy falters
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