Companies in Japan are known for their long working-hours, putting immense pressure on its employees. The death of a reporter at a famous news channel called NHK has been linked to excessive work hours. Miwa Sado was found dead in her apartment in 2013, and the cause of her death has been made public after all these years so that something can be done about this dangerous situation.
According to the details provided, the 31-year-old reporter had been covering political news in Tokyo just before her death. She was found dead in her bed in July 2013, reportedly clutching her mobile phone.
Coroner’s report showed that Sado had died due to heart failure and it was found out that before her death, she had logged 159 hours of overtime in a month.
The case was initially kept confidential but NHK made it public after four years, succumbing to pressure from Sado’s parents to take action in order to prevent such cases from happening again.
The case again highlights the Japanese problem of karoshi, or death from overwork, amid the country´s notoriously long work hours.
NHK itself has campaigned against the country’s long working culture, but the case proves that its own affairs are not in-line. Sado was required to cover Tokyo’s assembly elections in June 2013 and an upper-house vote for the national parliament the following month. She died three days after the upper-house elections had taken place.
The chief of NHK has pledged to improve work conditions at the broadcaster.
“We are sorry that we lost an excellent reporter and take seriously the fact that her death was recognised as work-related,” President Ryoichi Ueda said Thursday.
“We will continue to work for reform in cooperation with her parents,” he told reporters.