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.