FT: Curbing death by overwork in Japan

Content note: mentions of suicide in the video and text below.

Leo Lewis probes at sleep cafes, construction worker shortages, and a mother grieving the loss of her daughter, a Dentsu employee who committed suicide almost three years ago on Christmas Day:

By noon on October 12, Japan was preparing for the arrival of Hagibis, the most powerful typhoon to hit the country in decades. Public transport had been halted and commercial flights grounded, while evacuation orders blared from mobile phones as the risk of floods, landslides and deadly winds mounted.

As the danger grew, social media catalogued the complaints of workers who had been forced by their employers to brave nature’s fury and turn up for work. Many of the businesses identified — coffee shops, estate agents, sushi restaurants — were not essential services. But the testimonies rang true.

Two weeks earlier, the government had published a white paper on Japan’s overwork crisis that suggested progress on eliminating one of the country’s most notorious workplace problems was slow.