Death and Suicide from Overwork: The Japanese Workplace and Labour Law

Makoto Ishida*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter looks towards Japan and discusses death and suicide resulting from the stress of overwork, offering a stark picture of the 'dark side' of the once highly touted 'Japanese miracle'. It shows how laws designed to prevent overwork and compensate for industrial injuries were undermined in Japan by judicial decisions and cultural practices, but concludes that the pressures of the 'new' economy may soon bring similar problems to workplaces everywhere.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLabour Law in an Era of Globalization: Transformative Practices and Possibilities
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780191699542, 9780199271818
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 22


  • Fatigue
  • Industrial injuries
  • Japan
  • Karoshi
  • Work stress
  • Worker health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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