Shorter working hours will help create jobs and prevent death from overwork

The Japanese Communist Party's Yamaguchi Tomio used his question time at the Lower House Budget Committee meeting on January 23 to drive home to the prime minister the need to press employers to shorten working hours; he cited Toyota Motor Corp. as an example.

Yamaguchi stated that a survey shows that at Toyota, employees are working 2,434 hours a year on average (up to 3,650 hours), 442 hours longer than the national average. Toyota's monthly overtime is 66 hours, exceeding the 45-hour government limit set to prevent death from overwork.

Yamaguchi said that shortening annual working hours to the government-set goal of 1,800-hours would help create 27,300 new jobs at Toyota alone, and prevent fatigue death.

Prime Minister Koizumi promised to supervise corporations. (end)

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