Employee Dies In Japan Due To Heavy Overtime

Miwa Sado an NHK reporter who joined the public broadcaster in 2005

Miwa Sado an NHK reporter who joined the public broadcaster in 2005

A Japanese journalist worked herself to death by doing 159 hours of overtime in a month and taking just two days off. She died on July 24, three days after the upper house election.

Sado worked almost twice the hour's considered standard for Americans.

The official added that it was necessary to study how elections are covered because of the threat overwork poses to media workers.

When asked by the Asahi Shimbun why the announcement of the cause of Sado's death had been delayed for more than three years, a spokesperson for the network told the news agency that Sado's family did not want the information made public.

"Even today, four years after, we can not accept our daughter's death as a reality", Sado's parents said in a comment released by NHK. "We hope that the sorrow of a bereaved family will not be wasted", Sado's parents said in a statement issued through NHK, according to The Guardian.

Japanese are known for their zeal to work and be punctual but the habit is now costing them their lives.

A 2014 government investigation found that Ms. Sado's death was a direct result of her work life. Hotlines in other countries can be found here. On average, workers in the Asian region sleep six hours and 22 minutes each work night.

According to the Guardian, over 2,000 Japanese are led to commit suicide over work-induced stress and many others die from working too much.

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In a "white paper", or official government document, issued by Japan previous year, one in five workers in Japan were found to be at risk of death from overworking.

A poll conducted between December 2015 and January 2016 showed that more than 20 percent of companies reported some of their employees logged more than 80 hours of overtime each month.

Image Source: YOMYOYFIs dedication to work worth dying for?

NHK said that labor officials had concluded that the 31-year-old political reporter died from heart failure caused by spending long hours on the job.

With so many at-risk workers in Japan, it should come as no surprise that deaths like Sado's are fairly common.

Her death triggered a national debate over Japan's work culture. Since then, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration has sought to improve working conditions in the country.

In February, the Japanese government and the Keidanren, Japan's largest business group, introduced an effort dubbed "Premium Friday" that encouraged companies to allow workers to leave the office at 3 p.m. on the last Friday of the month.

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