Japan Tobacco (JT) is planning to cut 1,600 jobs and to close four factories, thus reducing the level of production as sales dropped at a national level.
JT will cut about a fifth of its 8,900 employees and close four of its nine factories in Japan, while its branch offices will be reduced from 25 to 15.
The company decided to take the steps to deal with “the anticipated consequences of future industry contraction in the mid- to long-term,” according to the international media.
“We believe that adaptability to a changing environment is critical to achieving sustainable profit growth in the mid- to long-term,” JT president and chief executive officer Mitsuomi Koizumi said in a statement.
JT is one of the biggest tobacco companies in the world and owns international brands such as Winston and Camel, but its sales in Japan massively decreased as the country’s once huge number of smokers is now shrinking.
Figures from Japan Tobacco show that 21 percent of adults smoke now, down from 25 percent in 2009.
The international media says it might not get any better for the company in the future, considering that Japan will introduce an increased sales tax in April.