TOKYO (AP) _ Hitachi Ltd., Japan's largest machinery maker, plans to cut 6,500 workers by March 2000 as part of a major cost-cutting plan.

The labor cuts, to affect about 10 percent of Hitachi's 67,000-member work force, will be achieved through attrition, an early retirement program, and the transfer of some 4,000 employees to a home electronics unit created Thursday as a spinoff of Hitachi's related division, said Hitachi spokesman Takeshi Okamoto on Friday.

On Thursday, Hitachi's new president Etsuhiko Shoyama said in a press conference that he aims to return to the company to the black this fiscal year.

``My mission as president is to transform Hitachi into a high profit business,'' he said.

Separately, major trading company Marubeni Corp. announced on Thursday it would accelerate steps to improve its financial standing and business structure by cutting its work force by 900 to 5,000 by next April.

The labor cuts are the latest a series of cutbacks for corporate Japan as companies struggle through the country's deepest-ever postwar recession and the region's economic crisis.

Major job cuts were also recently announced by Mitsubishi Electric Corp., NEC Corp. and Sony Corp. _ three of Japan's electronics behemoths.