Japan Labor inspectors ruled that the death of a 31-year-old journalist at the country’s public broadcaster, NHK, had been caused by overwork. Miwa Sado, who worked at the broadcaster’s headquarters in Tokyo, logged 159 hours of overtime and took only two days off in the month leading up to her death from heart failure in July 2013. Her case was only made public by her former employer this week.
A labor standards office in Tokyo later attributed her death to karoshi or death from overwork. Japanese suffers from a large number of deaths attributed to the long hours expected of many employees. The government has proposed to cap monthly overtime at 100 hours and introduce penalties for companies that allow their employees to exceed the limit.
More than 2,000 Japanese killed themselves due to work-related stress in the year to March 2016, according to the government, while dozens of other victims died from heart attacks, strokes and other conditions brought on by spending too much time at work.
In a statement issued through NHK, Sado’s parents said: “Even today, four years on, we cannot accept our daughter’s death as a reality. We hope that the sorrow of a bereaved family will not be wasted.”