Work Till You Die! (But Don’t Blame Us)

Japanese companies not culpable for working employees till death, Supreme Court rules

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Yuya Shino / Reuters

DATE IMPORTED:July 22, 2013A Tokyo Stock Exchange employee wipes his eyes as he works at the bourse in Tokyo July 22, 2013.

Civic groups in Japan have lost a struggle to demand the naming of companies where they claim employees have died of overwork (karoshi).

Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld an earlier decision by Osaka High Court, stating that companies could not be held culpable, since employees died because of brain and cardiovascular diseases, and could therefore remain anonymous.

The civic groups, who have waged their battle to name the affected companies since 2009, claim that stress in the workplace aggravates employees’ health conditions. They have also raised concerns over karojisatsu or “suicide caused by overwork.”

[Japan Daily Press]