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Japan Post Holdings Co. plans to hire 2,055 new graduates in April 2021, less than half of some 4,300 slated to start working for the postal service group next month.

The plan, announced Thursday, falls in line with the group’s moves to review its marketing systems at post offices, following the discovery that improper sales practices were followed for Kampo brand life insurance products issued by Japan Post Insurance Co.

Many Kampo insurance products are sold through post offices, run by Japan Post Co.

Of the planned new recruits for next year, 1,740 will be assigned to Japan Post Co., 200 to Japan Post Bank and 105 to Japan Post Insurance. The holding company itself is set to employ 10 new graduates.

The number of new recruits will fall particularly sharply at Japan Post Co. Some 300 people are scheduled to be deployed to post offices this spring for operations such as selling Kampo products. Japan Post Holdings has no plan to take on such workers next year.

Also on Thursday, Japan Post Holdings agreed with the group’s labor union to skip a pay scale increase in this year’s wage negotiations. The accord marks the fifth straight year without an increase to base wages.

The company will continue regular pay increases, such as raises due to promotions or length of service, and will offer annual bonuses equivalent to 4.3 months’ salary, unchanged from the previous year.

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