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Japan's millennial workers find strength in low numbers

Sweets are never out of reach at the headquarters of package design company Esspride.

TOKYO -- For decades, Japan's office workers have endured overcrowded trains, subordination to senior colleagues and pay unrelated to performance. Workplaces around the country tend to share a drab formula: white walls, gray carpeting and no-frills desks.

     All of that may be about to change. Japanese companies are increasingly catering to the preferences of a younger set known as Generation Y, or millennials. Born between 1983 and 1995, according to some definitions, these workers wield more leverage than their predecessors for a simple reason: They are relatively scarce in Japan.

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