Long hours are a life-and-death crisis for Japan’s young workers

In Japan, they call it “karoshi”: death by overworking. The government estimates that it kills hundreds of people each year through heart attacks, strokes, or suicide. In some companies, employees may work 100 hours of overtime each month, often unpaid. And while karoshi has long been a part of Japan’s work culture, it may be worsening as job security disappears for the new generation, Edwin Lane reports for BBC World Service. The government has responded by suggesting occasional shorter workdays. What campaigners want, though, is a legal limit on the number of overtime hours. One argument in their favour: Despite the long hours, Japan has the lowest productivity in the G7.

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