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This woman is sleeping on the train. I don’t know if she is an actress for the youtube video, but she certainly looks exhausted from working hard in Japan.
My Japanese father has been working for a large corporation and at one point, I believe that he was nearly working himself to death. Three of his co-workers either committed a suicide or died due to overwork. Maybe they had medical problems but they concluded that they were killed due to excessive work hours. It is sad that there is an international terminology to refer to this type of death-karoshi. (death by overwork) In the 90s, I remember that the news was reporting about karoshi constantly and it became to be a national issue. Because of the number of karoshi, Japanese government did something by enforcing companies to adhere to the labor law. There was a case that this young man (only 30 years old) collapsed at work and passed away and they concluded that the cause of his death was overwork. The company was giving heady workload that he had to more than 80 hours of overtime each month. They can’t report every overtime so I have a suspicion that 80 hours isn’t the actual number and it is under reported.

Japanese salaried men (white collar employees in Japanese companies) are often expected to do volunteer unpaid overtime. It is common for them to return to home after taking the last train and by the time they get home it is already 1am..and then they get up in the morning to go to work at 6pm. So are these Japanese employees voluntarily taking these unpaid overtime work, so isn’t it their choice? Well, there isn’t much we can do about it because almost all companies in Japan have this odd inefficient (to me) work hours..culturally hard work is valued because it means that the employee is loyal to the company.It is a surprise that all the well-known companies including Toyota had their employees died from Karoshi.

My father was diagnosed with chronic heart disease, and I can’t remember the actual diagnosis but he has been on medications since 45 or 46..that’s when he was the busiest at work. We were all worried that my dad would get a heart attack one day and never returned home.

And the question was..what’s the point? Do you have to work that hard to get your work done? What is the problem? Also Karoshi happens in other countries such as South Korea, China and Bangladesh. In my father’s company, widows of their diseased husbands all filed lawsuit against the company to try to get compensation.

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