Thousands of Japanese Employees Killed due to Overwork

In Japan, more workers are suffering from stress-related illnesses and depression, forcing thousands of employees to commit suicide every year. With this looming problem, authorities have included suicide incident as part of work accidents, allowing families of victims to receive compensation from employers and government.

Japanese employees are working way too hard almost to a point that they are literally killing themselves, giving rise to stress-related diseases and depression, and prompting more than two thousand people to kill themselves every year, according to police authorities.

With the prevalence of this problem, the Japanese have used a specific term for this, calling it “karoshi” or death by overworking. But this social problem is expected to worsen as many businesses are lying off more workers and global economic recession is now in full swing.

According to Rengo, the country’s biggest union federation, more than 50 percent of employees were suffering from work related-stress.

Lawyer Hiroshi Kawahito, who represents karoshi victims, said that authorities were unable to estimate the exact number of employees suffering from illnesses due to work-related stress or those who committed suicide because of overwork, adding that only 10 percent of the cases were reported to the employers or authorities.

Kawahito also said that more than 10,000 employees suffered strokes or heart strokes due to work stress, some of these were fatal.

Despite the prevalence of this problem, karoshi is still considered by many people in Japan as taboo since there is a mentality that psychological state is a private matter.


    (All the above fields are required.)