(Bloomberg) -- Toshiba Corp. is seeking to cut 5,000 jobs or roughly 10% of its headcount in Japan, the Nikkei reported, underscoring the fading stigma of layoffs in a country grappling with chronic labor shortages.

The move could initiate one of Japan’s biggest rounds of staff reductions this year. The Tokyo-based company is downsizing noncore businesses and will book a one-time cost of roughly ¥100 billion ($650 million) as a result, the Nikkei reported without saying where it got the information. 

Layoffs have been rare in a country that has some of the world’s strictest worker protection laws. But a rising number of blue-chip Japanese firms are cutting staff as a historic labor shortage lowers the sting of such moves. Unions are winning blanket pay raises, worker mobility is growing and more companies are hiring foreign workers to fill positions in industries from retail to engineering. In recent months, companies including cosmetics brand Shiseido Co., thermometer maker Omron Corp. and photocopier maker Konica Minolta Inc. have announced job cuts.

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Once one of the country’s biggest employers, Toshiba has been trying to cut costs in its sprawling operations and focus on its infrastructure and digital technology operations. Prior to its delisting in December, it mostly opted to court buyers and divest subsidiaries. Toshiba is compiling its midterm strategy though nothing concrete has been decided, a company representative said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

A pioneer in DRAM and NAND memory, laptops, and rice cookers, Toshiba has struggled for years with management missteps and scandal. It paid the country’s largest penalty ever for falsifying financial statements in 2015, then had to sell off its crown jewel memory-chip business, Kioxia Holdings Corp., to pay for losses from an ill-fated expansion in the nuclear business.

The company’s been trying to close a troubled chapter in its 149-year history through a much-delayed $15 billion buyout. Going private would give the company a chance to regain its footing, executives have said.

Toshiba, which builds nuclear turbines as well as batteries and quantum computing technology, will seek applicants for severance packages, the Nikkei said.

(Updates with Toshiba’s comment from the fourth paragraph)

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