A growing number of Japanese companies are moving to rehire former employees who have quit before retirement age — a move aimed at securing work-ready personnel amid serious labor shortages crippling the country.

Previously, it had been widely believed that quitting a job means completely severing the relationship with the employer. But that way of thinking has been diminishing in recent years, offering a second chance to former workers.

Sachiko Kido, 40, started working at Kirin Brewery for a second time in January 2022, after she quit the Tokyo-based company several years ago. Although she left the firm in the hope of becoming a public relations expert, Kido changed her mind and came to think that she wants to engage in a wide range of business operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She chose to work again at the major beer-maker, which is familiar to her.