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Economy

Japanese restaurants hungry for part-time workers

TOKYO -- For many Japanese restaurant chains, the battle for employees is becoming even fiercer than the competition for customers. 

Yoshinoya's outlet near Shibuya Station in Tokyo offers exceptionally high hourly wages for part-time workers.

     Students and "freeters," or job-hopping part-time workers, are the backbone of the restaurant industry, allowing chains to keep labor costs down and profits up. But Japan's economic recovery means more of this once-plentiful labor pool is landing full-time employment elsewhere. As a result, chains are struggling to secure workers despite offering higher hourly wages.

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