Why Young Japanese People Work Themselves to Death

Working long hours in Japan is nothing unusual but the fact that it is rapidly becoming the new norm in the country’s modern society sparks concern from people who recognize the problem attached to overworking yourself.

In Japan, karoshi means death from overwork, which is exactly what will happen to many Japanese young professional if they do not realize the dangers of working past their body’s maximum capacity.

In an interview with BBC News, Makoto Iwahashi, a member of the campaign group Posse, shared his thoughts on why more and more young people from Japan are working themselves to death.

According to Iwahashi, many of these young workers in Japan think they do not have a choice in order to keep their jobs and prove their value as an employee, making it look like the only option they have is to become slaves to their companies and bosses.

It also doesn’t help that more companies today prefer to hire young workers and have them work for long periods only to hire them for a short while. It’s a lot different from before when even though employees are expected to work long hours, they were rewarded with permanent positions.

The work environment in Japan has become something of a battleground for the survival of the hardest-working wherein those who are willing and able to overwork themselves could somehow convince their companies that they are indispensable.

In a previous report by CNBC, a 2016 study revealed that around 12% of companies put in an additional 100 hours of overtime a month while 23% added about 80 hours of work overtime a month.

The Japanese government is already looking into the problem by proposing new legislation that will only allow around 45 to 60 hours of work overtime each month.


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