We've all heard the horror stories of life in middle management. In Japan, the ill appears to be especially acute. So many Japanese workers die from simply being overworked that there's a name for it: karoshi. Wikipedia says, "The major medical causes of kar?shi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress." From March 2006 to March 2007, 303 people were claimed to have died of it with 147 of those cases acknowledged as accurate by the government.

Thirty-year-old Kenichi Uchino worked 60 hours a week for five months for Toyota in Japan, and then worked 70 hours a week for a month -- and then he died. His wife, Hiroko, filed for workman's compensation benefits after the death of her husband, and her claim was denied. The Labor Ministry said the death didn't come from overwork.

A court in Nagoya, though, had a different opinion, and has ordered the Ministry of Labor to pay benefits. His work schedule sounds brutal, although we know of people who put in the same kind of hours in the US. However, unlike in America, it's common practice in Japan not to pay for overtime. We don't know if that was the case here, but regardless of whether he was being paid, the operative word for any employee putting in those kinds of hours should be: help.

[Source: Detroit News]