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Fujitsu Ltd. announced Monday it will cut its global workforce by 9 percent, or 16,400 jobs, by the end of the fiscal year amid a global slump in the semiconductor market.

The major computer and electronic device maker also said it will cut fixed costs and expenses by 100 billion yen annually through intensified reform efforts.

Unveiling its global restructuring plan, Fujitsu President Naoyuki Akikusa said the measures will contribute to the firm’s goal of posting 6.1 trillion yen in group sales and 400 billion yen in consolidated operating profits by fiscal 2003.

“Semiconductors and information technology businesses (worldwide) shrank drastically and we need to change corporate systems to cope with this severe business environment,” Akikusa said.

The restructuring plan aims to shift Fujitsu’s core businesses from semiconductor manufacturing to online software services, including IT consulting and advanced network application development and delivery, he said.

Fujitsu will write off 300 billion yen in special losses in fiscal 2001 to the end of March 2002 for the restructuring costs, company officials said.

The company will mainly streamline its electronic devices operations and information transaction businesses, such as the manufacture of hard disks and printing machines, according to the plan.

About 5,000 workers in Japan will lose their jobs, including 2,500 retirees, and about 4,700 employees will be transferred to it more profitable business fields, including Internet platform operations.

In other countries, Fujitsu will reduce 11,400 workers, including 4,200 employees engaged in hard disk drive operations in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, they said.

Due to the restructuring, Fujitsu’s group fixed costs will decrease by 100 billion yen a year over the two years, company officials said.

Group return on equity is expected to reach 10 percent in fiscal 2003, and its group stock as assets will be halved to 500 billion yen in the same business year by promoting more efficient production systems, company officials said.

Fujitsu Vice President Takashi Takaya said the firm needs to reform its global operation systems, which are overly dependent on the U.S. market for profits.

“Although the demand for semiconductors used in telecommunication products (such as cell phones) declined sharply in the U.S., we were late to perceive the demand-and-supply imbalance,” he said.

3G tieup announced

OSAKA — Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Matsushita Communication Industrial Co. will tie up with NEC Corp. to develop video software for Internet-capable third-generation (3G) mobile phones, company officials said Monday.

The tieup is designed to cut costs in developing software for mobile phones that enables video transmission and to survive growing global competition, they said.

The presidents of the three companies are scheduled to an official announcement on the tieup at a news conference today in Tokyo.

The collaboration is intended to combine Matsushita Electric’s expertise in video technology and NEC’s knowhow in software and chip technology.

The companies are also considering producing mobile phones and personal digital assistants under each other’s brand names, the officials said.

Matsushita Communication, which is 56.3 percent owned by Matsushita Electric, is Japan’s largest maker of mobile phones, while NEC is No. 2. Their combined domestic market share stands at nearly 50 percent.

Toshiba Corp. is already in a comprehensive mobile-phone tieup with Siemens AG of Germany, while Sony Corp. and Swedish telecom equipment maker LM Ericsson are scheduled to integrate their mobile phone businesses in October.

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