Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. plans to reduce its shipbuilding division's work force by 500 before March 2004. The division currently employs 4,500. The work force cut will come through natural attrition and curbing new recruitment at
the division, according to a spokesman.
Company officials plan to improve the shipbuilding sector's profitability by boosting sales of value-added passenger boats and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers. Japanese shipbuilders have seen a recent decrease in profitability on sales of VLCCs because of price competition with South Korean shipbuilders.