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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 27 - July 3  > Bereaved families angry at forced passage of 'work-style reform' legislation
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2018 June 27 - July 3 [LABOR]

Bereaved families angry at forced passage of 'work-style reform' legislation

June 30, 2018

Bereaved families of people who died from overwork (karoshi) held a press conference on June 29, after the controversial package of "work-style reform" bills forcibly became law, to express their determination to work to help abolish the package legislation.

They were dressed in black, holding a portrait of their deceased family member.

Takahashi Yukimi, the mother of a female worker of the leading advertisement company Dentsu who had committed suicide due to overwork, said, "It's very disappointing that the work-style reform-related legislation contradicts karoshi prevention."

Takahashi added, "My daughter with high hopes joined Dentsu. But, in about only six months, she was driven to death due to emotional distress associated with excessive hours of work and power harassment. She was working for her own happiness but lost her life because of overwork. Her death was just a tiny example of the reality in Japan today. Nothing is more important than our lives. I hope that the government will review the way the Japanese work in order to protect people's lives and health."

Teranishi Emiko, who heads a nationwide network of karoshi victims' families, criticized Prime Minister Abe Shinzo for railroading through the set of bills while refusing to meet with the bereaved families. She said that the new legislation is the complete opposite to a karoshi prevention law.

Teranishi also said, "This 'zero-overtime-payment' system in the legislation will undoubtedly induce more karoshi. Will the government be held responsible for karoshi? No, the government will probably impose personal responsibility."

Nakahara Noriko, the leader of the Tokyo network of karoshi victims' families, said, "I feel strong resentment toward the fact that the legislation which could deprive workers of their hopes is to take effect. I will continue working to raise public awareness about the potential danger of the zero-overtime-payment system."

Past related articles:
> Karoshi victims’ families angry at Abe gov’t for intending to steamroller through bills to weaken work hour rules [May 17, 2018]
> Abe’s work-style reform will increase risk of ‘karoshi’: bereaved families [March 9, 2017]
> 2-day event for LGBT rights in Tokyo attracts over 100k people [May 3, 7 and 9, 2017]

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