Working OT Like Crazy? Japan Just Cap it at 100 hrs Per Month & People Are Angry

If you think that you have it worse, take a plane to Japan and take a look at their culture. Long working hours are common over there, which has led to a phenomenon called karo-shi (death from overwork), where corporate employees have been known to spontaneously drop dead of exhaustion.

Sounds intense enough? Which is why Japan has decide to just cap their OT at 100 hours per month. 

Solution or Redundant? 

Workaholic Japan has unveiled its first-ever plan to limit overtime, but critics want to give it the boot, commenting that a mere 100-hour-a-month cap will do nothing to tackle karoshi. 

In response to the suicide of a young employee who regularly logged more than 100 hours of overtime a month, it has prompted the government to come up with a solution to punishing work hours blamed for hundreds of deaths due to strokes, heart attacks and suicides every year.

A panel headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has since come up with a plan calling for a maximum of 100 overtime hours a month. The conservative leader called it a “historic step for changing the way people work in Japan”. 

Sure, a first step must always be taken. But a 100 overtime hours per month is still overwhelmingly crazy. Even the Labour Lawyers’ Association of Japan has slammed the proposed cap as “extremely inappropriate” and “impossible to support”.

To put it into perspective, that’s about an additional 25 hours of work weekly, or an additional 5 hours of work per day. In other words, that’s working almost 13 hours a day.

Hifumi Okunuki, a unionist and teacher at Sagami Women’s University also agreed that it does not do enough to tackle the problem. Death toll was sure to mount unless more stringent action was taken.

Many were outraged, pointing out the fact that the 100 hours still doesn’t highlight the grave consequences of long working hours.

Imagine having to work 100 extra hours every month! 

But then again, in Singapore, 100 extra hours a month might not seem so excessive anyway #lifeofasingaporeworker

Since you’re here, why not check out Goody Feed’s YouTube videos as well? They’re so Singaporean, I bet you’ll like them!

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Featured Image: Adisorn Saovadee /

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Vanessa Ong

Vanessa Ong

An eighteen-year-old girl who is fond of words and the wonders of the world. Perpetually lost in her own thoughts, easily excitable and appreciates a great deal of humour.
Vanessa Ong