Japan’s Aeon eyes record numbers of overseas staff

January 29, 2013
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About 1,500 overseas staff, mainly from other countries in Asia, would be hired over the next year, a company spokeswoman said, compared with total hiring of 1,400 such staff in the previous two years/FILE
About 1,500 overseas staff, mainly from other countries in Asia, would be hired over the next year, a company spokeswoman said, compared with total hiring of 1,400 such staff in the previous two years/FILE
TOKYO, Jan 29 – Japan’s Aeon said Tuesday it would embark on big hiring spree aimed at bulking up its overseas staff as the retail giant expands in China and Southeast Asia.

The firm, which operates everything from massive shopping malls to small supermarkets, also said it wants about half of the staff at its headquarters in Japan to be non-Japanese employees in less than a decade.

About 1,500 overseas staff, mainly from other countries in Asia, would be hired over the next year, a company spokeswoman said, compared with total hiring of 1,400 such staff in the previous two years.

Including both figures, overseas employees would represent nearly one-third of Aeon’s 10,000 new hires over the three years to March 2014.

“Tapping markets in Asian countries with growth potential is one of our mid-term business strategies,” the official told AFP.

“We want these (new hires) to be the driving force behind that.”

Aeon’s plan to make the firm’s head office half-staffed by overseas employees by 2020 would be a big increase from the current 10 percent. There are about 450 employees in total at the office.

The company is set to open more than 10 shopping malls in China in fiscal 2014 as well as tapping India, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Aeon’s expansion comes after one of its retail stores in northeastern China was vandalised during a wave of anti-Japanese rallies last year amid a bitter territorial dispute over an East China Sea island chain.

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