David Blecken
Oct 5, 2017

NHK admits overwork caused the death of a reporter in 2013

Another Japanese media institution reveals a dangerously unhealthy working environment.

The NHK building in Tokyo
The NHK building in Tokyo

NHK is facing a PR crisis similar to that which has engulfed Dentsu for the past year after it admitted that extreme working conditions led to the death of one of its reporters.

Yesterday’s admission by Japan’s national broadcaster follows a ruling by a labour standards office in May 2014 that the employee, Miwa Sado, died due to working 159 hours of overtime with just two days off in the course of a month. Sado, who was 31, died of heart failure in July 2013.

Sado reported on the movements of the Tokyo metropolitan government. She had been at the broadcaster since 2005. Domestic reports have quoted an NHK spokesperson as saying the incident represents a problem for the organisation as a whole.

The news comes just before the anticipated conclusion of Dentsu’s widely publicised open trial. The advertising giant’s president and CEO recently admitted that the company had failed to address serious issues relating to its working culture that contributed to the suicide of a young employee.

Source:
Campaign Japan

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