[2008.01.24]Salty shepherds 海上守护者



Salty shepherds


Jan 24th 2008 | SYDNEY
From The Economist print edition

A row between Australia and Japan



THE Southern Ocean is usually one of the world’s loneliest shipping lanes.This month it has turned into an unseemly battleground over a bid byAustralia’s government and various environmental groups to stop Japan huntingand slaughtering whales. Japan aims to kill more than 900 minke and 50 finwhales from a region bordering Antarctica by mid-April. It claims the hunt isfor scientific research; its critics say this is a brazen front for acommercial whale-meat harvest. As images of the protesters’ antics inflameanti-Japanese feeling in Australia, the clash is also threatening the stabilityof one of Australia’s strongest regional ties.


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[2007.12.19]Jobs for life 一生悬命

Death by overwork in Japan 过劳死在日本

Jobs for life一生悬命
Dec 19th 2007 | TOKYO
From The Economist print edition

Japanese employees are working themselves to death

HARA-KIRI is a uniquely Japanese form of suicide. Its corporate equivalent is karoshi, “death by overwork”. Since this was legally recognised as a cause of death in the 1980s, the number of cases submitted to the government for the designation has soared; so has the number of court cases that result when the government refuses an application. In 1988 only about 4% of applications were successful. By 2005 that share had risen to 40%. If a death is judged karoshi, surviving family members may receive compensation of around $20,000 a year from the government and sometimes up to $1m from the company in damages. For deaths not designated karoshi the family gets next to nothing.


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