Olympic sta­dium worker’s sui­cide in Ja­pan was ‘death from overwork’

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Tokyo, Ja­pan - A 23 year old con­struc­tion worker on Tokyo’s Olympic Sta­dium killed him­self due to overwork, his fam­ily’s lawyer said on Wed­nes­day, the lat­est in a se­ries of cases that have sparked alarm in the worka­holic na­tion.

The em­ployee, whose name has not been re­leased, be­gan work­ing on the project in De­cem­ber and clocked around 200 hours of over­time in the month be­fore his body was found in April.

The of­fi­cial labour bureau has now con­cluded he had be­come men­tally ill ‘due to ex­ces­sively long work­ing hours at the Olympic sta­dium’, lawyer Hiroshi Kawahito said in a state­ment.

His par­ents ap­plied for com­pen­sa­tion in July and asked the gov­ern­ment to recog­nise his sui­cide as a case of karoshi or death from overwork.

The con­struc­tion worker went miss­ing in March, leav­ing a note say­ing he had ‘reached the phys­i­cal and men­tal limit’.

His par­ents thanked the labour of­fice for the rul­ing but said they were ‘ex­tremely heart­bro­ken’ they could not save their son. “The sor­row that we will never see his smile again will not be healed for the rest of our lives,” they said.

Ev­ery year Ja­pan’s no­to­ri­ously long work­ing hours are blamed for hun­dreds of deaths due to strokes, heart at­tacks and sui­cides.

Last week pub­lic broad­caster NHK apol­o­gised to the par­ents of a young re­porter who died of heart fail­ure af­ter log­ging 159 hours of over­time in a month.

NHK re­porter Miwa Sado (31) who had been cov­er­ing po­lit­i­cal news in Tokyo, was found dead in her bed in July 2013, re­port­edly clutch­ing her mo­bile phone.

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