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Japan Steel Works Falls as Employees Take Time Off: Tokyo Mover

Japan Steel Works Ltd., a nuclear parts supplier for customers including Areva SA, fell the most in two months in Tokyo trading after the Nikkei reported that workers at a plant will take time off as orders decline.

Shares slumped 5.6 percent to 489 yen as at 1:13 p.m. local time, set for the biggest drop since Feb. 5. Japan Steel Works was the biggest decliner among stocks listed on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

About 500 workers, or 70 percent of the total workforce at the Muroran plant on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, have accepted a proposal by the company to take about two days off a month for the six months starting mid April, spokesman Akito Aiuchi said today by telephone, confirming the Nikkei newspaper’s report on April 13.

“The company’s nuclear business in Japan will be tough for a while,” Masayuki Otani, a Tokyo-based strategist at Securities Japan Inc., said by phone.

Japan Steel operates the only plant in the world capable of producing the central part of a nuclear reactor’s containment vessel in a single piece, reducing the risk of a radiation leak. The Tokyo-based company has removed aged facilities and relocated some of its workers at the Muroran plant since the Fukushima disaster, President Ikuo Sato said March 13 in an interview.

A decision on whether to extend the time off plan beyond October will be made later by monitoring demand, Aiuchi said.

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