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Cracking down on overtime can boost efficiency

TOKYO -- Seniority-based pay, long hours and a lack of female managers have long been the norm in corporate Japan. But the nation's companies are increasingly rethinking the way they work, and Itochu, a major trading house, is one of them.

Masahiro Okafuji

     To reduce overtime, Itochu now urges its employees to come in earlier in the morning, when necessary, rather than stick around late into the night. In an interview with The Nikkei, Itochu President Masahiro Okafuji talked about this and other ways to achieve a more efficient work-life balance in a country with a shrinking labor force.

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