Japan to Pay Widow After Husband Dies of Overwork

Toyota employee on constant overtime
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2007 8:37 AM CST
Japan will pay the widow of a white-collar worker who died from overwork.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – A Japanese court ruled today that the government must pay damages to the widow of a white-collar employee at Toyota who died from overwork, the AP reports. Kenichi Uchino had put in more than 80 hours of overtime per month for at least half a year before collapsing in his office and dying at age 30. His widow filed for compensation with the Labor Ministry but was rejected, a decision today's ruling overturns.

Karoshi, the Japanese phenomenon of death from overwork, has become increasingly prevalent since the government first recognized the problem in 1987. Yet only about half of the 303 applications for compensation filed in the last year for karoshi have been accepted. Toyota was not involved in today's suit and did not comment. (Read more Toyota stories.)