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Sony to close factory, cut one-fifth of jobs at Tokyo HQ

The cuts are part of a massive restructuring plan announced last spring that including axing 10,0000 worldwide.

Beleaguered electronics maker Sony will cut thousands of jobs by March as it continues to restructure its operations to try to remain competitive in the market.

The electronics giant said the restructuring will save more than $370 million annually, but will likely have a minimal effect on this fiscal-year's earnings.

Sony said in a statement that the efforts stem back to April when it announced it would kickstart its "revival" plan by cutting 10,000 workers across its global business, including about 3,000 in Japan. The latest announcement offers details of how Sony is making those job cuts. The restructuring efforts will cost Sony more than $930 million during this fiscal year.

The new casualty is Sony's Minokamo factory with its 840 workers. The plant produces camera and mobile phone lenses and also offers customer services for the firm's Sony Mobile division. Sony will transfer some activities out of the Minokamo site but skipped on much of the detail.

Along with that, Sony is investing in an early-retirement plan that will see around 2,000 people -- or one-fifth of the headcount -- at its Tokyo headquarters reduced.

As the firm continues to bleed cash, Sony is refocusing its efforts on three key areas: gaming, digital imaging, and, crucially, mobile devices.

Since a joint venture in mobile between Sony and Ericsson came to a close following a $1.5 billion all-cash buyout from Sony a year ago, much of Sony's focus has been on getting the new division Sony Mobile on its feet. With that, the Sweden-based operations relocated back to the mothership in Tokyo, shedding a further 1,000 jobs in the process.

The mobile division, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corp., gained 133 percent year-on-year in the firm's first-quarter earnings earlier this year, but largely due to the fact that the mobile unit did not actually exist a year ago.

The story originally posted as "Sony closes Japan factory, cuts 2,000 jobs" on ZDNet.