Japanese Woman Dies Of Overwork

Tara Khandelwal
New Update
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Miwa Sado logged 159 hours of overtime and took only two days off in the month at her job in Tokyo. She was so overworked that she died of heart failure. A labour standards office in Tokyo attributed her death to death from overwork. Her case was made public by her former employer this week.


Sado was a 31-year-old journalist who worked at the country’s public broadcaster NHK. There is a large number of deaths in Japan due to employees overworking themselves. The announcement of Sado’s death comes a year after the case of 24-year-old Matsuri Takahashi, who killed herself in April 2015, because of the stress of her long working hours.

Before she died, Takahashi posted on social media, “I want to die. I’m physically and mentally shattered".

Plan to limit overtime

Now the government proposes to cap monthly overtime hours at 100 and introduce penalties for companies which allow their employees to exceed the limit. According to a white paper drafted by the government, one in five employees were at risk of death from overwork.

More than 2,000 Japanese killed themselves due to work-related stress in the year ending March 2016. Japanese work longer than counterparts in the US. Employees log more than 80 hours of overtime each month -- this is the level at which working hours start to pose a serious risk to health

Japanese employees use only half their leave allowance. A senior official in NHK’s news department said that Sado’s death reflected "a problem for our organisation as a whole, including the labour system and how elections are covered”.


India second highest in number of overworked people

India is no less. According to a survey done by global travel agency Expedia Inc, India has the second highest number of overworked people. 63 per cent of Indians feel that they are vacation-deprived. And when they do get a vacation, they are always in touch with work.

A 2015 survey by Randstad saw 74% of about 800 India Inc. employees, across sectors, saying their employers expected them to be available outside regular office hours.

Also Read: How To Make The Best Of Your Workplace As An Introvert

Picture Credit: VCCircle

Work-Life Balance Japanese Woman Overwork