15,000 jobs worldwide go at Panasonic

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Yellow Belt
Panasonic is to cut 15,000 jobs worldwide over the next year in a drastic effort to reduce costs after the Japanese electronics manufacturer said it would suffer its first annual loss for six years.

About half the redundancies will be in Japan, company spokesman Akira Kadota said, but was unable to offer a geographical breakdown of the overseas cuts.

The move will lead to the closure of 27 manufacturing sites, 13 of them in Japan, and the loss of about 5% of Panasonic's global workforce of 300,000.

Its British headquarters are located in Bracknell, Berkshire, and it has several manufacturing plants in the UK, employing about 4,000 people, according to its website.

"The company's business conditions have worsened particularly since last October, due mainly to the rapid appreciation of the yen, sluggish consumer spending worldwide and ever intensified price competition," Panasonic said in a statement.

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