Photo/Illutration Awajishima island in Hyogo Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Human resources company Pasona Group Inc. will transfer its main functions and 1,200 employees from Tokyo to Awajishima island in Hyogo Prefecture starting in September to mitigate potential business damage during disasters.

The transfer plan, involving staff in corporate development, public relations, personnel affairs and other departments, is expected to be completed by May 2024.

Although Pasona’s headquarters will continue to be registered in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, the company wants to avoid the disaster-related risks of having an overconcentration of its business activities in the capital.

Of the 1,800 employees in administrative departments at the headquarters, two-thirds of them will be shifted to Awajishima island.

“We aim to achieve enriched work-styles in Awajishima island, and we considered (the transfer) was necessary from the point of view of business continuity in case of emergencies,” a public relations official of Pasona said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Japanese companies have adopted teleworking systems and reviewed their conventional working styles.

At Pasona, about 40 percent of its employees now work outside the office. The company will continue to allow employees to work at home even after the transfer to Hyogo Prefecture.

Pasona started to help people find work in agriculture on Awajishima island in 2008 and has also been making efforts to promote tourism.