Country shows worrying reports on workers death from overwork

The death of a young Japanese man working for the country’s space agency has been blamed on him working too hard.

The 31-year-old man, Yukinobu Sato, took his own life in October 2016.

This week, a lawyer representing his family confirmed the cause had been recognised as “karoshi” – death from overwork – after the family’s workers’ compensation claim was approved.

The lawyer, Hiroshi Kawahito, said authorities recognised Mr Sato had been assigned “unachievable” work goals, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

Mr Sato had worked for Software Consultant Corp, on a project the national space agency, JAXA, had contracted to the company.

Very Tired workers

Mr Kawahito said Mr Sato had worked 70 hours or more of overtime a month, and had been issued a warning when he tried to claim the pay for it.

A drone flies in an office in Japan

“Karoshi” was a term coined in the 1970s to describe deaths by heart failure or stroke, or people taking their own lives, as the result of long hours at work.

It is estimated 200 deaths in Japan were linked to overwork in 2017.

Japan has just legislated to try to combat the epidemic, with new regulations limiting overtime work to 45 hours a month and 360 hours a year in principle, according to the Japan Times.

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