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Japan's IHI, JR West furlough thousands as demand plummets

Top companies expect slow recovery despite economic reopening

JR West plans to furlough an additional 1,350 workers as train ridership is expected to remain sluggish for the long term.

TOKYO -- Leading Japanese companies including IHI and West Japan Railway have joined the growing ranks of businesses furloughing employees to weather the financial hit from the pandemic, further exacerbating the economic pain for ordinary workers.

IHI, a jet engine builder and heavy machinery maker, will furlough roughly 30,000 employees within and outside Japan for four or five days in June, extending the measure if necessary. Workers will receive about 80% of their regular wages on those days.

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