Telecommunications minister Toranosuke Katayama on Tuesday described the transfer of 100,000 Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. employees to 100 new subsidiaries as “(necessary) pain in a transitional period.”

The NTT group “had to go through this stage to improve its financial health,” the minister of public management, home affairs, posts and telecommunications told a news conference.

On May 1, 100 subsidiaries took on 100,000 NTT group workers, mainly from NTT East Corp. and NTT West Corp.

“I interpret this incident favorably based on the view that the pain in the transitional period of the newly reorganized NTT has surfaced,” Katayama said.

Katayama also commented on the huge losses stemming from investments in foreign Internet and mobile phone service providers by NTT Communications Corp. and NTT DoCoMo Inc.

“Although they constitute negative events when seen from the short-term perspective,” he said, “we need to interpret them from a long-term viewpoint.”

Katayama called on the NTT group to transform itself into a “broad-based comprehensive telecom carrier to deal with ongoing changes in the business situation” rather than concentrating merely on fixed phone services or mobile phone operations.

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