According to a new government survey, 20% of Japanese workers are at risk of dying from overworking.
This is the first survey on “karoshi” or “death from overwork” endorsed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet. Karoshi is an ongoing problem with hundreds of deaths from strokes, heart attacks, suicides and other ailments reported each year as well as related problems like karoshi-related lawsuits.
According to the survey, 22.7% of companies polled between December 2015 and January 2016 said some of their employees “logged more than 80 hours of overtime each month” – the threshold at which the potential of death from overwork becomes serious. Approximately 21.3% of Japanese employees work an average of 49 or more hours each week. In the U.S. that number is 16.4%, 12.5 % in Britain and 10.4% in France.