A young journalist passed away due to a heart failure after clocking 159 hours of overtime. Thirty-one-year-old NHK reporter, Miwa Sado, was found lifeless in bed in 2013 clutching on her phone. She reportedly covered political news in Tokyo. It was only after a year when the Japanese authorities confirmed that her death was linked to excessive overtime.
The tragedy which vowed the country’s working practices to undergo reform. Japan is known for its ‘salaryman’ culture and long work hours, and it has been a struggle for the country to discuss the employees’ health and well-being.
Four years after, NHK made the case public after the pressure from Sado’s parents to prevent such incidents to happen again. Sado’s case once again stresses Japan’s problem with karoshi, or death from overwork.
Nonetheless, the NHK chief swore that the company will reform its work conditions.
“We are sorry that we lost an excellent reporter and take seriously the fact that her death was recognized as work-related,” President Ryoichi Ueda told the media.
“We will continue to work for reform in cooperation with her parents,” he furthered.
The Japanese government also urges employees to go home at 3pm on the last Friday of every month to discuss this issue.
The incident created an uproar in the country. NHK also started reporting tragic deaths at other companies, such as the suicide of a young woman in 2015 who worked at a major advertising agency. She reportedly logged over 100 hours of work.
Sado covered Tokyo assembly elections in 2013. She also took part in the coverage of upper-house vote for the national parliament, but she died three days after the latter event.
“My heart breaks at the thought that she may have wanted to call me,” Sado’s mother told the Asahi daily.
“With Miwa gone, I feel like half of my body has been torn off. I won’t be able to laugh for real for the rest of my life,” she added.
Netizens also gave their two cents about the issue.
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SOURCE: Inquirer, World of Buzz