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Dentsu to face open trial over high-profile overwork case

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Nice to see the prosecutors get slapped down here. An open trial, which should, hopefully, bring to light, the "dirty laundry" that Dentsu, and by default, Japan Inc, uses against it's employees, that literally work them to death!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The buck stops at the top...always! The company policies and work ethic and culture all stem from orders and demands from the top which often, if not always, have zero idea of what's happening on the ground. This is either because middle managment filters what gets sent up to protect their own jobs and asses, while handing down orders from the top with gestapo type enthusiasm, or more likely in the case of Japan, they simply do not care! The only way to stop this is by making it criminally negligent to break employment and government rules on employment and for public prosecutors to actively investigate and prosecute. Also, make it criminally negligent for those who are suppose to investige, who do not. People in the work place should also stand together when subjected to this kind of abuse and push back, but I think I have more chance of seeing pigs fly than seeing this happen in Japan. Thus it is really up to the regulators of employment standards to get of their brown enveloped lined, lavish lunch time seats and DO YOUR JOBS!

I feel very sorry for Takahashi-San and her family for a completely needless and completely preventable death! Every single person in the company who enforced the companies over work culture is responsible for her death and should feel everlasting guilt until the day they meet her in the next life.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Delt with the Labour Ministry, my boss point blank refused to talk to them about his illegal actions. He was above that after all. So I got a phone call telling me from the ministry that as my boss didn't appear, he wins, even though he broke the Law. This idea that companies are somehow special exasubate said illegal actions. Driving staff to suicide is detestable but too common when there are useless Laws.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who wants to take bets that nothing will ever come of this?

What are they going to do, put execs in jail? Yeah right.

Can't set precedent now can we? That'd be bad for the other thousands of companies that are killing their workers through constant overtime and mandatory late night drinking sessions.

I bet the ruling finds the company was in violation of overtime regulations but was not responsible for her death. Her family will get the shaft and things will continue as they always have.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Slavery is not limited only to overwork.

The manpower companies are practising modern day slavery (slave wages) with the tacit

approval of the gov't and nothing is being done about it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is just one company of thousands who abuse their staff. The government has recently set a cap of 100 hours per month of overtime, which is still absolutely ridiculous. However, I calculated that, high school students are doing between 120 and 150 hours of overtime every month with Saturday school, club, Juku and homework. Is there any wonder that youth suicide and depression are among the highest in the world?

What is wrong with these companies that they have to work their staff to death? Are the companies understaffed? Are the employees undertrained? Are their production schedulers setting unachievable deadlines forcing workers to work such ridiculous hours? Or, is it just some kind of bullying control over staff by threatening them with termination if they do not do the work? Sadly, I fear the latter is the most likely reason.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its pretty easy to get disheartened by cases like this, it seems like it doesn't matter how many people die nothing changes.

How about educating university graduates on their work place rights, and giving them access to more information about how to defend themselves against bad employers.

Why are there loopholes for overtime? The fact that companies can request people to volunteer their time is ridiculous, if your at work and working you should get paid for it at the correct overtime rate, if companies can't run their businesses without forcing people to do unpaid overtime they shouldn't be in business at all.

I guess the concept of actually creating laws that are enforced is a new idea for Japan, but you would think eventually the public outcry would be enough to force change.

Maybe instead of teaching kids to follow orders blindly from superiors schools should be educating them about how to stand up for themselves and others.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"I know some bosses that work very hard to help the employees in small companies, and the employees also voluntarily work overtime checking that. That's the good image of Japanese company I'm proud of..."

Is this a good image though? To me this is just a way to force people to work to hard so the boss's boss gets more cash.

Company A and Company B does the same thing. Company A has 15 employees that are happy with life and work balance. They get their jobs done at 40-50 hours a week.

Company B does the same job with 10 employees. They work 70+ hours a week, because they are unhappy and tired and their efficiency goes down so mistakes are also made. Their work life balance is horrible. BUT WAIT! The CEO gets a bigger bonus because he pockets the money saved from the 5 less employees.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Disillusioned has a good idea of where the overwork culture comes from.

Laws, regulations, and high-profile incidents haven't done much for the situation so far so I don't think any new ones will either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I know some bosses that work very hard to help the employees in small companies, and the employees also voluntarily work overtime checking that. That's the good image of Japanese company I'm proud of...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good point to see dirty prosecutors getting slapped down but as paradoxbox said, pretty sure nothing will change as the problem is deeply inside Japanese society.

50% annual benefice of company to pay in case of karoshi, that's the only way to get down such slavery.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The labor laws need to change. Mainly the one that says you must work overtime if your employer tells you to do so. Remove this and companies would lose power to harass those that leave on time because they have a life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@szero25 - Awesome post!

you would think eventually the public outcry would be enough to force change.

You would think so, yes. But people just diligently go to work everyday and put on their fake smiles. When someone does stand up for a better tomorrow, they are left standing there by themselves - crickets chirping. It's like the whole crowd doesn't have a backbone between them.

And then it brings me to this:

Its pretty easy to get disheartened by cases like this, it seems like it doesn't matter how many people die nothing changes.

It hits the nail on the head. Don't expect change, compassion, sympathy, to be judged on (meaningful) contribution, to be heard in Japanese workplace culture. It's completely uncivilized. TIJ! And we all know that nothing changes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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