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Financial woes force Okinawa Prefecture to slash 435 jobs

Date Posted: 2008-02-01

Uruma City will feel the heaviest pinch of Okinawa Prefecture’s budget constraints, losing 44 worker positions this year.

Okinawa Prefecture says it must reduce payroll by trimming 435 jobs from the 41 municipalities, and Uruma City offices happen to be hardest hit. Nanjo City is close behind, scheduled to lose 43 jobs. Miyako Jima City will see 25 workers leave the force, along with 23 in Kadena Town, 22 each in Motobu Town and Urasoe City, 21 in Itoman City and 20 from Kumejima.

Many other jobs are being converted to private vendors. The Prefecture figures show 41.5% of workers, 694 individuals, are now working for private companies doing work once done by city, town or village workers. Prefecture officials say salary structure reforms are being implemented as well, including one that eliminates automatic pay raises.

Money shortages last year forced the Prefecture to advise municipalities to back off on paying bonuses to employees, but the advice went unheeded. The Prefecture says 24 municipalities did not cut worker bonuses.

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