Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Japan: Woman Dies After 159 Hours of Overtime In a Month

Japan: Woman Dies After 159 Hours of Overtime In a Month Japan: Woman Dies After 159 Hours of Overtime In a Month
Melinda Barton | 07 October, 2017, 06:33

The overtime was 59 hours more than what's been proposed by the government.

Over the course of a month, she clocked 159 hours of overtime.

A labour standards office in Tokyo later attributed her death to karoshi (death from overwork) but her case was only made public by her former employer this week. The death of the journalist will add more pressure to the government, which recently proposed a limit of 100 overtime hours.

They criticized Dentsu for placing priority on company interests and said the illegal labor practices underscored the company's stance of ignoring the physical and psychological well-being of its employees.

"We are sorry that we lost an excellent reporter and take seriously the fact that her death was recognised as work-related", president Ryoichi Ueda said Thursday.

According to the white paper, 22.7% of companies polled between December 2015 and January 2016 said some of their employees logged more than 80 hours of overtime each month - the level at which working hours start to pose a serious risk to health.

Last year, a similar ruling also put Japan's work culture under fire. Recent studies show that Japanese people work longer than people in other countries. That compares with 100% in Hong Kong and 78% in Singapore.

Sato covered Tokyo assembly elections for the broadcaster in June 2013 and an upper-house vote for the national parliament the following month. She died three days after the upper house elections.

Kyodo News reported that a senior official of NHK said the organization waited years to make her death public out of respect for her family.

"We urge NHK to manage work hours and cut long working that such incidents will never happen", Kato told reporters, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

Issuing a public apology, NHK said it had decided to make the incident public in an effort to prevent future tragedies, adding management had been working to improve employee conditions. In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.