Japanese woman 'dies from overwork' after clocking 159 hours of overtime

Moneycontrol News 

A 31–year-old journalist employed with Japan’s public broadcaster NHK has died due to overwork and clocking in around 159 hours of overtime.

Miwa Sado suffered a heart failure right after the month when she overworked and took only two days off during that period and died on July 24, 2013.

A Tokyo-based labour standards office attributed her death to overwork long back but her records were only made public by her former employer this week.

The reporter died due to a rigorous work schedule during an election. The reason for the late revelation of the cause of her death was due to respect to her family.

The incident is likely to put further pressure on Japanese authorities to reform its workspace culture of overworking to prove dedication, reports The Guardian.

Sado’s death, however, is not the first in Japan’s list.

In 2016 until March, more than 2,000 Japanese citizens killed themselves over work-related stress and dozens more died from heart attack and strokes attributed to overworking says the report.

Death from overwork, known as karoshi in Japanese, and the culture itself has been blamed for multiple deaths in the island country.

A 2014 poll found out that the country’s workforce on an average slept around 6 hours and 22 minutes each work night, lesser than any other nation.

In response to her death, the Japanese government has proposed a monthly overtime cap of 100 hours, reports New York Daily News. In addition, Japan’s companies who contribute to a pro-overworking workplace culture will be facing penalties.

In a white paper issued by Japan last year, one in five workers were found to be at risk of death from overworking.

Before this in 2015, another worker at an ad agency died due to 105 hours of overtime in the month leading up to her death, resulting in suicide. The CEO of the company had resigned over the issue.

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