Toyota Motor is looking to drastically reduce its recruitment levels over the next year, according to a report today, with the Japanese company expected to take on about 1,400 full-time employees in the fiscal year starting from April.

Toyota started a record 2,733 new recruits this year.

“In order for us to survive, we must put our resources into the development of next-generation environmental technologies,” a company spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Next year’s recruitment will be reduced to levels not seen for around nine years, the report added. Japan was slowly emerging from a decade-long recession around the turn of the century.

Earlier this month it emerged that upcoming spring annual wage talks between Toyota Motor and its unions were likely to see wages held though workers would get bonuses equivalent to five months’ pay plus JPY100,000 (US$1,018).