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Pfizer’s Japan arm set to cut costs

Tokyo, May 29 (Reuters): Pfizer Inc said on Monday it expects to trim its expenses in Japan without shedding jobs by 12 per cent this year, two years ahead of the US company’s global target.

“We are not considering any job cuts,” Hiromitsu Iwasaki, president of Pfizer’s Japanese unit, told a news conference.

“We’ll be able to achieve our cost reduction target given (by our headquarters) without job cuts and we’ve already won support from our headquarters,” he said.

Iwasaki took the helm in February after a confrontation between labour unions and management over job cuts last December which resulted in Soren Celinder, Iwasaki’s predecessor, stepping down only a year after he took office.

As part of a restructuring plan by Pfizer'the world’s largest drug maker, which said last year it aimed for $4 billion in annualised cost savings by 2008'its Japanese unit tried to lay off 300 employees, or 5 per cent of the total payroll, late last year but the plan was rejected by union members. Iwasaki said the Japanese unit will save money by reducing conference expenses, trimming the number of suppliers and cutting down rented office space.

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