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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 12 - 18  > JCP talks with bereaved families about ways to eliminate deaths from overwork
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2017 April 12 - 18 [LABOR]

JCP talks with bereaved families about ways to eliminate deaths from overwork

April 12, 2017
Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Kasai Akira on April 11 at the Lower House members’ office building held talks with representatives of a nationwide network of family members of “karoshi (death from overwork)” victims, agreeing to work hard to eliminate the corporate culture of forcing workers to work excessively long hours.

Kasai criticized the Abe government’s “work-style reform” plan as basically a deregulation of labor rules by pointing out problems such as legalization of overtime hours equivalent to the number of hours used for official recognition of overwork-induced deaths. He explained the JCP proposal for protecting workers from long working hours and eradicating work-related deaths.

Kasai said, “Karoshi is a man-made calamity. Politicians have the responsibility to remove the causes of such tragic deaths. In collaboration with bereaved families of karoshi victims, opposition parties, and various organizations, the JCP will work hard to create a society where no workers die from overwork and where everyone can have a decent quality of life with an eight-hour work day.”

Teranishi Emiko, head of the network Families Dealing with Karoshi support group, said, “Required by law to implement measures to prevent overwork-related deaths, the government released statistics of those who work more than 80 hours of overtime a month indicate that many employers disregard the government-set standards. However, without taking any countermeasures, the government instead intends to authorize 100 hours of overtime a month, which is the opposite of what it really should do.”

Representing the network’s Tokyo chapter, Nakahara Noriko said, “We’ll join hands with the JCP to increase the participation of workers, karoshi victims’ families, and their lawyers in discussions on work rules.”

Another network member pointed out that the chronically long working hours of public sector workers may drive private sector workers into the same situation, stressing the need to improve measures to shorten public workers’ working hours.

Past related articles:
> JCP publishes counterproposal to Abe’s ‘work-style’ reform [March 4, 2017]
> Gov’t seeks to set overtime at 720 hours a year, two times longer than current limit [February 16, 2017]
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