Report: Deaths From Overwork Remain At High Levels

Report: Deaths from overwork remain at high levels

A Japanese government report is calling on industries -- in particular, construction and media -- to take serious steps to prevent deaths from overworking.

The government approved on Tuesday a white paper exploring "karoshi," or death caused by excessive work in Japan.

The report says labor authorities recognized that 158 deaths from illnesses or suicide were caused by overwork during fiscal 2018. It adds that the figure is the lowest in a decade, but warns that it still remains high.

By age, those in their 40s formed the largest group, with 47 deaths. People in their 50s came next with 46 deaths, followed by 26 in their 30s, 20 in their 60s and 19 in their 20s.

In the construction industry, the report says 78 workers died from brain and heart diseases due to overworking in a five-year-period from 2010.

It adds that during the same period, 54 workers in the construction industry committed suicide due to mental disorders. Among them were 30 construction site managers.

The report identifies long working hours, changes in the volume of work and troubles with superiors as key factors leading to suicide among construction workers.

In the media industry, excessive workloads killed 10 people from illnesses, while four committed suicide during the same five years. All those who killed themselves were in their 20s.

The report says long hours are entrenched in the media world, with some personnel working for two weeks or longer without a day off.