• Kyodo News

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The government, employers and employees agreed Monday to promote work-sharing to stabilize and create jobs amid the deteriorating employment situation.

Prime Minister Taro Aso, Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) Chairman Fujio Mitarai, Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) President Tsuyoshi Takagi and others met at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence.

All sides adopted the agreement calling for companies to maintain employment while workers cooperate with efforts to reduce costs.

The agreement urges the government to expand subsidies to companies maintaining employment through leaves and other measures and utilize fiscal expansion and other steps for creating jobs in priority areas such as health and nursing care services, which are expected to see future growth.

“We are in the era of economic emergency and the government, workers and employers must unite to tackle the employment instability,” Aso said at the meeting.

“I would like the government, workers and employers to play their roles and overcome this difficult situation,” he said.

This was the first agreement between the three parties on employment since they produced a pact on the definition of work-sharing in March 2002.

Work-sharing is defined as an effort to maintain employment through employee leave, overtime reduction, job training and transfers.

The agreement calls for employers and workers in large companies to make utmost efforts to maintain and secure the employment of subcontract workers.

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