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Years of shrinking interest rates, demographic challenges and threats from rapidly advancing technology are finally coming to a head at Japan’s biggest banks as they prepare to eliminate thousands of positions and downsize branches.

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. is considering cutting as many as 19,000 jobs — about a third of its workforce — mainly through attrition over the next 10 years, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. is considering shrinking its workforce by about 10,000 over a decade, Chief Executive Officer Nobuyuki Hirano has said. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. plans to “streamline” 4,000 positions over three years by digitizing branches and making processes more efficient.

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