Welcome to english.eastday.com.Today is
Follow us @
Contribute to us!










Home >> auto >> Article
Japan's top ad agency chief admits labor practice violations in trial on overwork suicide
From:Xinhua  |  2017-09-22 19:16

Video PlayerClose

TOKYO, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Toshihiro Yamamoto, the head of Japan's biggest advertising agency, admitted at a trial held in a Tokyo court on Friday that the company had violated labor practices which resulted in the death of a young female employee who committed suicide after being overworked.

Yamamoto, president of Dentsu Inc., said that he was sincerely sorry for the loss of a precious life following 24-year-old Matsuri Takahashi who killed herself by jumping from her dormitory in Tokyo in December 2015.

Yamamoto said her death was his responsibility and promised to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.

The Tokyo Labor Bureau in September last year said the suicide of Takahashi was related to excessive overtime, with the young lady logging as much as 105 hours of overtime over the course of a single month.

Takahashi took her own life as a result of being overworked just months after she joined Dentsu, the fifth-largest advertising agency in the world.

Prosecutors reportedly demanded Dentsu be fined 500,000 yen (4,475 U.S. dollars), accusing the agency of "putting priority on securing profits and not heeding the physical and mental health of workers."

More than 100 employees were found to have been working hours in excess of the labor-management agreement of 50 hours of overtime every month in 2015, the prosecutors said.

The prosecutors added that Dentsu had not followed orders from labor authorities to reform its working and overtime practices, and the firm's inherent culture of excessive overtime was left unchecked.

A special team handing serious violations and working under the auspices of the Tokyo Labor Bureau, previously refereed three Dentsu executives and three branch officials to prosecutors over the issue.

After suspending their initial indictment, the prosecutors charged Dentsu as a company, with the court thereafter saying Dentsu should be tried in an open session.

The growing phenomenon in Japan of death from overwork, known here as "karoshi," has triggered widespread debate on labor standards and practices and overtime rules.

A health ministry white paper citing data from both the National Police Agency and the Cabinet Office, stated that "work issues" were a contributing factor in 2,159 suicides in 2015, with long hours and intolerable amounts of overtime more than likely behind a number of the preventable deaths.

Takahashi's family reached a settlement agreement in January this year with Dentsu, and the agency agreed to take steps to prevent further incidents of "karoshi" happening.

The Tokyo Summary Court will hand down its ruling on Friday's trial on Oct. 6.