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With its fourth annual loss in five years looming, Japan Airlines Corp. is struggling to stay afloat, and the reduction of company pension benefits has become a crucial issue. For its reconstruction efforts, the cash-strapped airline desperately seeks public funds. But because JAL retirees get fatter pensions than the average retiree, transport minister Seiji Maehara has emphasized that the public will not stand for JAL’s using any public funds to pay for the higher level of benefits.

Thus, pension reform has become key to reconstructing Japan’s biggest airline. It is imperative that management work to gain the cooperation of JAL retirees and workers to realize the reform.

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