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Japan Inc changing tacks to re-hire women workers

Microsoft, Sompo, others offering new work styles to fit needs of former employees

Efforts to make work environments more friendly to women are getting underway in Japan. Female employees discuss analyzing sales at the head office of Microsoft Japan in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

TOKYO -- Moves to rehire women who left the workforce due to child-rearing or husbands' job transfers are increasing in Japan,  which is seeing intense competition for workers amid an acute shortage of labor.

Microsoft Japan will soon introduce a paid internship of around six months to help female former employees prepare for returning to work, while Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance has adopted a reinstatement system to rehire such workers in positions similar to those they held when they left the property and casualty insurance company.

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