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Ailing automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has selected 1,382 employees aged 52 or older to participate in an early retirement program.

The company said Thursday that 2,028 workers had applied for the program — far more than had originally been expected.

The automaker announced in May that, in order to phase out some 1,200 jobs, it would introduce the early retirement scheme for rank-and-file employees aged 40 or older who have been with the company for at least 10 years.

But on Aug. 1, the first day on which applications were accepted, some 1,900 employees applied, prompting the company to expand the program.

The 1,382 successful applicants are expected to leave the company by the end of September.

Around 9,300 of the company’s 24,000 current employees are eligible for the latest program.

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