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PACIFIC WATCH

Japan

January 17, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Major Corporation Lowers Retirement Age: Okuma Corp. has decided to lower its mandatory retirement age, the first company in recent years to shorten workers' careers. Okuma, a machine-tool maker, will change its mandatory retirement age from 60 to 56, which will squeeze 150 of Okuma's 2,200 employees out of their jobs Feb. 15, a company official said. With Japan mired in a severe recession, many corporations are struggling to cut payrolls bloated by the custom of guaranteed lifetime employment, one of the most envied aspects of the Japanese workplace.

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