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Death of woman in Yamaguchi recognized as from overwork

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"Saito's overtime was about 70 hours in the month before her death and ranged from 71 to 77 hours each in the second through sixth month prior. But she had only four days off in the half year leading up to her death, including working 91 days in a row in the four months beforehand."

But wait a second, she didn't work anywhere near the 100 hrs/month that the government, Keidanren and Rengo all recently agreed is perfectly fine. Thus how can this qualify as overwork? Sounds like a bit more gaman was in order. In any event, nothing a few more committee meetings and stern words of encouragement from our beloved daimyo in Tokyo won't address.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Saito died of a suspected heart disease at her home in November 2015, the lawyer, Tadashi Matsumaru, said, arguing that the cause of her death was accumulated fatigue from overwork at a lunch-box sales firm in Hofu

Please just call them what they are....Japanese bento's, The word bento is in the English dictionary.

Lunch boxes sounds so childish.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Which is evidence enough to prove how unreliable and cynically manipulated the claims/quality of data in the Databook of International Labor Statistics, that the average Japanese in 2014 worked 37.7 hours a week! detailed in kuchikomi ..  

https://japantoday.com/category/features/kuchikomi/japanese-ways-of-getting-work-done-no-longer-cut-it-in-today's-world

2 ( +2 / -0 )

that the average Japanese in 2014 worked 37.7 hours a week! detailed in kuchikomi .. 

First off kuchikomi articles should be taken with less than a grain of salt for their accuracy. "Average" in this case includes all people working, even those who only work an hour or so a week, they are included in statistics regarding employment, so they pull the averages down to 37.7 per week.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Jcapan The article states if you worked at least 80 hours overtime in 2 straight months prior to death, this also can defined under karoshi. The vicitims overtime reached between 70-77 hours in the 6 months preceding, which is why the decision was appealed because it came close to this threshold, not the 100 hours.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is wrong with these companies and the business culture where a person has to work 70-100 hours a month in overtime? The companies must be severely understaffed or, the staff are severely undertrained, or both. Japan is the only country in the world with a word for death from overwork. It's absurd! Most of the companies in Australia set their overtime cap at 20 hours per month. The national law is 40 hours per month, half of what the Japanese labor ministry set as a cap. The international opinion is, the Japanese love to work, but the reality is quite different. They are afraid of being fired if they don't carry out the unreasonable workloads and deadlines set by the company, which is intimidation by threat, equalling bullying! Now, thanks to Abe, half of the workforce are on semi-permanent contracts and can be fired at the drop of a hat. My GF works for a major publishing company where nearly 70% of the staff are on these semi-permanent contracts. They set a cap of five years for the semi-permanent employees. After that, you are out the door. They also set up points system for them to get a 'chance' at promotion and, as expected, doing copious amounts of overtime is one of the main criteria for gaining points. If you gain enough points, there is a 'chance' you 'might' get another five-year contract, renewed and reviewed yearly with no security. Meanwhile, those who are on permanent contracts (the teeth sucking parasites) do bugger all except walk around the office and tell the semi-permanents what to do. It is just bullying in corporate form. Bullying is intimidation and threats. All these staff are working with a rope around their necks praying it won't get yanked! It's slavery!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

That 37.5 average was actually reported to the OECD.

When viewed in comparison to J Government proposed work overtime restrictions, around 60 hours a month with an increased limit of 100 hours for particularly busy periods, just goes to show how widespread companies are blatantly, with clear criminal intent, circumventing any means of reporting employees genuine hours of work let alone overtime

 It is any wonder then, death by overwork is common place , hand in hand with  tax revenues and social contributions systematically evaded, leading to dangerously unsafe levels of fatigue in the operation of heavy equipment.       

Table 6.1...

http://www.jil.go.jp/english/estatis/databook/2016/06.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Granted my longest working stint was 73 hours but than we took a large customers IT over (hardware and all).

Plenty of OT( 3+ callouts/night, 24/7 standby on scheduled weeks) where I worked but we, could chose compensation pay or time off.

Also training or leave none would contact us.

Japanese system is nuts and companies try to take advantage of a culture that was a given at some point.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But wait a second, she didn't work anywhere near the 100 hrs/month that the government, Keidanren and Rengo all recently agreed is perfectly fine. Thus how can this qualify as overwork? 

The article is confusing, but it sounds like they are considering the months before the 70 hour overtime months as contributing to her death. It mentions she worked 91 days in a row at one point, but doesn't say how many overtime hours that was.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"despite her overtime having not reached official thresholds."

End of story. I found the reason.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"The Yamaguchi labor standards office recognized the death of Tomomi Saito of Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, as such in February in view of her very small number of days off, despite her overtime having not reached official thresholds."

You see, thanks to Abe's 100 hours a month "cap" on forced overtime, this will easily be dismissed, or at least won't be punished like it should be.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The article is confusing, but it sounds like they are considering the months before the 70 hour overtime months as contributing to her death.

I must have been in a hurry when I wrote that. After reading it again, it seems everything is included in the 6 months leading up to her death.

So the simple matter is you can pretty much work a full day every day in a month, and still not go over the "official threshold" for overtime.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think the official limit is a guideline only.

Even cases with fewer hours will get passed.

100hrs of sitting at a desk vs 100hrs physically working in a factory are very different.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I try to work at least 100 hours OT per month. I still have at least 4 days off per month, and enough leisure time. Methinks her health was generally poor to begin with.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

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