Wednesday, October 30, 2013
JT To Close 4 Plants, Cut 1,600 Jobs
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Japan Tobacco Inc. (2914) announced Wednesday that it will consolidate its cigarette production from six plants to four. It will also shut two other small and midsize factories turning out raw materials.
JT is also reviewing its manpower need and aims to cut about 1,600 jobs, or just under 20% of the positions at the parent company. The move is an effort to restructure the company's operations amid sluggish domestic sales of cigarettes.
Japan's tobacco market has shrunk by 40% since it peaked in fiscal 1996, partly due to consumers' greater health consciousness. Last fiscal year, 195.1 billion cigarettes were sold in Japan. JT had 31 domestic plants in 2002. Since then, it has closed many facilities in response to falling demand. With the closure of the four plants, the company will have five still operating.