business

Toyota reaches settlement over bullied engineer's suicide

30 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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30 Comments
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After quiting i feel like all the smptoms disappeared after about a week! Best choice i made in my life as that company was working me to death.

Excellent!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's no real way of fixing bullying in the workplace because ... It is engrained and encouraged via the education system, I don't see anything the companies can do to really prevent this problem. Japan's public schooling system pretty much systematically pump out bullies.

Agreed, @Blahblahblah222. I worked for 16 years as a teacher from preschool to university in Japan, public and private schools. Basically the same system as China and Korea, creates a lot of stress in JHS and Senior HS. They can't make real friends with their classmates because they need to compete directly with them due to standardized testing and the teachers' favoritism of the top of the test. These psychologically and sociologically formative years create adults who don't know how to work in teams. The only way that they can be is passively aggressive and directly competitive with their teammates. If Japan really wants to get rid of the problem, they have to strike it where it starts and get rid of standardized testing and entrance exams. (Not to mention the fact that the situation inhibits creativity, socialization, and self development.)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A Japanese friend of mine took her holidays (at this office no one had ever taken their hols even though they're entitled to it) when she returned to work they'd removed her chair so she had to stand and work for days.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

 a precious worker’s life was lost.”

A precious worker. Not a precious person, a precious human life. A worker. Even in death, that’s how corpos see people. I’m surprised they didn’t make the family pay for lost productivity.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That’s normal for all the biggest of their branches , so not very unique to that company. They all became number one and global leaders only because they did not pamper their employees wrapping them into satin sheets. No, they make wet hard knots in those sheets and whip you into maximum efficiency. And sometimes beat you out of this world.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I hope that family took Toyota to the bank.

A lot of these companies are so ridiculous putting these "small males" in charge of things, when clearly they don't belong in such a position.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Father to Toyota President: I appreciate your coming by and your words of encouragement that bullying, etc., and thousands of years of power harassment in Japanese culture will be addressed. Um . . . to that end, how about an advisory committee to your office, comprised of a majority of outside civilians with access to the Labor Dept. and the media, to ensure current and future Toyota employees are protected and being led by competent leaders, not being forced to work, which may or may not be barely a step above slavery?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese senior ranking executives bully their staff even for working overtime without pay where I work!!

Horrendous treatment of their hard working staff..

Despicable !!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

We believe that the legacy of efforts to curtail power harassment pays respect to his tragic death, which came too soon at 28, although nothing will ever be enough,” he said.

Really?? 28 was too soon how about at age 38 would it had been better???

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I am also a victim to this harrashment and overtime but wo't disclose what japanese company it is. I was always pissed off and would drink on web meetings to calm myself. After quiting i feel like all the smptoms disappeared after about a week! Best choice i made in my life as that company was working me to death.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

common problem in workaholic Japan

You mean staying in the office for no reason? That's not working.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@garypen - I agree with you. Since that company is in the US, they are bound by US labor laws. It doesn’t matter if the company is from outside the US. They can give the stink eye all they want. If she has any future harassment, she has a lawsuit.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Toyota at least have a better reputation than other companies and does want changes because of it's position in the world stage. While is hard to imagine that changes would immediately come, i do believe that Toyota is one of the companies out there in Japan that actually take issues like these very seriously and usually keep their words. They have a reputation to uphold and does not tolerate these kind of things that would drag their company name through the mud.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

garypen:

she gets the stinkeye from all of her co-workers!

They're just jealous they didn't have the guts to do the same thing.

Yes, what did happen to the boss in the article? A slap on the wrist?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You have to have mental fortitude as hard as diamond to work in a typical

Japanese company. Bullying is rife both in private and public establishments

Sad to say it, but as some who worked for a typical Japanese company for over a quarter

century I don't think, bullying will ever stop or even reduce.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Then tomorrow they go right back to doing things (bullying and intimidation) as usual.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sorry to inform you, but bullying is not tied to a singular generation. It comes in all forms, shapes and sizes....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

OlympicSupportToday 05:05 pm JST

Lip service....Bullying, harassment is part of the Japanese culture and will continue to be until this old generation dies off and is no longer in charge.

Sorry to inform you, but bullying is not tied to singular generation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There's no real way of fixing bullying in the workplace because it is an integral part of the Japanese culture for people of higher level and senpais to bully people lower than them. It is engrained and encouraged via the education system, I don't see anything the companies can do to really prevent this problem. Japan's public schooling system pretty much systematically pump out bullies.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The engineer, then 28, was repeatedly ridiculed by his boss, prevented from taking days off and told to die.

Japanese management at its worst. I speculate that the rigid hierarchy in Japanese companies was established after the war when the men leaving the army entered industry and brought with them the ingrained military mentality of bullying and order taking. I already told my son to prepare for life working in Japan and to not hesitate to quit and consider a different job if it goes badly. As a foreigner in a Japanese company we typically have a little bit more leeway but my company does have cases of managers power harassing foreigners.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

she not only gets the disapproving smirk from her a-hole boss, she gets the stinkeye from all of her co-workers! That's how ingrained that crap is.

And to rub salt in the wounds, as 現地採用 her position is like the contract workers in Japan working twice as hard for half the pay, and with the further impediment of being way outside the political loop.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

His name has been withheld due to privacy concerns, standard in Japan.

If he was foreign, his name would be in the headline.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Lip service....Bullying, harassment is part of the Japanese culture and will continue to be until this old generation dies off and is no longer in charge.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Agreed. The ‘life-experiences’ of many Japanese @Laguna 4:33pm are still carefully orchestrated ‘from cradle to the grave’…

“Sad when one's life experiences to that point [28yrs] don't lead you to simply raise your middle finger and walk but to take off your shoes and jump off a building. But then,….” -

… to insure ‘loyalty, duty, fealty’ and any other ‘poetic’ terms Occidentals would call ‘subservience’,

so many are so badly beaten down by that age.” -

…or, ‘slavery’.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It’s Japan,” @isoducky 4:21pm, so it’s most likely the boss was promoted/relocated to another position….

“I wonder what the boss' fate was.” -

… if he had any kind of seniority within the company or the ‘man-baby’ child of someone important/in politics.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Pay up! Toyota better pay at least $2million . The y abuse and use.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

My Girlfriend had a boss that made everyone take turns on some mornings giving a speech on anything they wanted to talk about, but some people are not cut out to get in front of everyone and give a talk about something, she use to get very stressed when it was her turn, I guess this got back to higher management and he was moved and I think let go later. down the road. Not sure where they get these guys'

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Sad when one's life experiences to that point don't lead you to simply raise your middle finger and walk but to take off your shoes and jump off a building. But then, so many are so badly beaten down by that age.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I have a friend who worked for Toyota in the US. (She is Japanese, but lives in the US.) A few days before a 3-day holiday weekend, the CEO of Toyota USA (or whatever his title was) sends a company-wide email wishing everybody a happy weekend, and letting US-based employees know they are welcome to leave early at 3pm on Friday.

So...3pm Friday comes rolling around, and she gets up, slips her handbag over her shoulder, and her Japanese manager asks what she's doing. "I'm leaving to get an early start to the weekend, like our CEO suggested," she replies. "He didn't say you had to leave early, only that you could if you wanted" he says. "Well, I want to, and I already made plans. Sorry. See you Tuesday." And, she leaves.

But, on her way out, she not only gets the disapproving smirk from her a-hole boss, she gets the stinkeye from all of her co-workers! That's how ingrained that crap is.

28 ( +31 / -3 )

I wonder what the boss' fate was. Pretty sure this is grounds for termination. I hope the family got some type equity settlement (some portion of their son's salary paid out for 37 years or stocks equating to as much)

11 ( +12 / -1 )

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