The Cabinet endorsed a plan Friday to cut the number of central government employees by 5.7 percent in the next five years as a streamlining measure.
In line with an outline for the personnel reduction adopted by the Cabinet, a government task force subsequently held its first meeting to begin discussing the details of the measures to facilitate the overall plan, particularly the transferring of employees and scaling back of the number of new hires.
The outline will remove 18,936 people, or 5.7 percent, from the government payroll, which covers about 332,000 employees.
The outline was formulated under the administrative reform promotion law that was enacted in May and called for a more than 5 percent cut in the number of state employees.
The plan calls for 2,908 employees at the Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry and the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry are to be transferred to other sections, particularly in the fields of public security and tax authorities.
The task force, which is headed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, plans to formulate a framework for the transfers, including retraining employees and enabling transfers to private companies or local governments if the employees so choose.
It will work out annual time schedules on the transfers from fiscal 2007 to 2010.
The task force was set up at the request of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation – , which has asked the government to make efforts to carry out the transfers based on the consent of affected employees.
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