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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 July 19 - 25  > Worker committed suicide due to overwork associated with construction of 2020 Olympic stadium
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2017 July 19 - 25 [LABOR]

Worker committed suicide due to overwork associated with construction of 2020 Olympic stadium

July 21, 2017
The bereaved family of a male construction company worker applied for official recognition that their son committed suicide due to overwork associated with the construction of a new national stadium for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Akahata learned on July 20.

The 23-year-old worker in April 2016 started work for a Tokyo construction company which is contracted to carry out foundation improvement work at the national stadium construction site. Only eight months after he started his career, he was assigned to supervise the work on the spot. Since February this year, he got up at 4:30 a.m. and came home after midnight every day. Two months later, he was found dead in Nagano Prefecture after he went missing in March. He left a suicide note in which he wrote, “I’m sorry, but I’m physically and emotionally drained.”

According to the bereaved family, the man worked more than 100 hours of overtime during the two months before his sudden disappearance. He worked an extra 211 hours during the one month before he disappered.

The start of construction on the new national stadium was delayed for more than a year due to the problem of ballooning construction costs. The construction continues now at an urgently fast pace.

The worker’s parents released the comment, “We believe that an extremely tight schedule was imposed on our son in order to make up for lost time. We hope no one else will die from overwork.”

Parents’ lawyer Kawahito Hiroshi said, “At the new stadium construction site, many workers are reportedly forced to work excessively long hours. The 2020 Summer Games are said to be the premiere national event. This doesn’t mean that companies are allowed to use workers as long as they want. Parties concerned, including construction firms, should take necessary measures without delay.”

Past related articles:
> Lack of concern with costs causes ballooning of construction costs of Olympic stadium: third party panel [September 28, 2015]
> Revised Olympic stadium with 155 billion yen price tag still costly [August 29, 2015]
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