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Corporate Japan warming to side jobs that help workers grow

Moonlighting could spur innovation, ease expertise gap

The majority of Japanese companies currently prohibit second jobs.

TOKYO -- More Japanese companies are letting workers take on side jobs that will improve their performance in the office -- a move that could also help alleviate the dearth of expertise faced by smaller businesses in particular.

As of Dec. 1, workers at Konica Minolta can seek permission to engage in outside employment, provided it meshes with their primary jobs at the business machine maker. Three such arrangements have been approved already, two of which involve employees starting their own businesses. Allowing workers to build up experience in other fields will help spark innovation, according to Tsukasa Wakashima, senior executive officer for human resources.

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