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NTT Corp. plans to introduce a new wage system for the roughly 100,000 staff being transferred from its group companies to regional subsidiaries under which salaries will be cut by 15 percent to 30 percent, company officials said Thursday.

Instead of paying the same wages nationwide, NTT will shift to a system under which wages at subsidiaries reflect the wage levels of each region, the officials said.

The move is aimed at reducing labor costs and improving profitability. NTT is currently holding talks with its labor union and hopes to adopt the new wage system in the fiscal year starting April 2002.

As part of NTT’s restructuring plan, around 100,000 workers at its group companies will retire, to be immediately re-employed at subsidiaries with lower wages.

The group companies, together with the nationwide network of NTT ME Service companies, which provide telephone maintenance and repair services, will set up regional sales subsidiaries to take in the workers.

DoCoMo to be targeted

A senior Fair Trade Commission official hinted that mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo Inc. may be targeted by a policy guideline drafted the same day to promote competition in the telecommunications market.

Although he did not name DoCoMo, FTC Secretary General Akio Yamada said Wednesday that moves by a mobile phone operator — apparently NTT DoCoMo — to defer offering technology that it jointly developed with telephone set makers could be “problematic in light of the Antimonopoly Law.”

The five-point guideline jointly drafted by the FTC and the telecom ministry is aimed at clarifying competition rules and complementing the Antimonopoly Law in governing telecom carriers, Yamada said in a news conference.

The guideline, which will be formalized in August at the earliest, prohibits dominant carriers from overshadowing newcomers that use their facilities and forces carriers to make their utility poles, channels and other base facilities accessible to other companies.

It also prohibits carriers from interfering in business tieups between related content providers and other companies.

But the draft does not address the high profile issue of setting a limit on the stockholdings of NTT Corp. in NTT DoCoMo and other dominant affiliates.

The guideline marks the first policy coordination effort between the FTC and the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry since the fair trade watchdog came under the ministry’s jurisdiction in the Jan. 6 realignment of government bodies.

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