A Japanese news reporter died of congestive heart failure after logging 159 hours of overtime in one month, according to local media.
Miwa Sado, a 31-year-old politics reporter for public broadcasting organization NHK, was reportedly found dead in her bed in July 2013, clutching her mobile phone.
Although Sado died in 2013, her official cause of her death was only made public this week after her parents pressured the company to take action to prevent other reporters from meeting similar fates.
“My heart breaks at the thought that she may have wanted to call me” in her final moments, her mother told the Asahi daily. “With Miwa gone, I feel like half of my body has been torn off. I won’t be able to laugh for real for the rest of my life.”
NHK issued a statement shortly after the cause of Sado’s death was released.
“We are sorry that we lost an excellent reporter and take seriously the fact that her death was recognized as work-related,” President Ryoichi Ueda said on Thursday. “We will continue to work for reform in cooperation with her parents.”
Death from overworking, or ” karoshi,” has been a rapidly growing issue in Japan, with over 191 cases reported last year.
The alarming epidemic has prompted the government to propose stricter regulations, including monthly caps on overtime and punishments for companies who refuse to abide by labor laws.
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