Why Does Japan Work So Hard?

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Working long hours is a way of life in Japan. So much so that some occasionally die from it. Karoshi is a term that means death by overwork. So why are people working so hard and can it be fixed? Japan has some of the longest working hours in the world. Nearly a quarter of Japanese companies have their employees work more than 80 hours of overtime per month. Those extra hours are often unpaid.

Today Japan’s corporate culture is driven by the so called salary man. The salary man is defined by his loyalty to his company and expected to spend his entire career working for the same firm. Not only does he work long hours in the office, but it’s also assumed he’ll participate in after work activities – like drinking with colleagues and they’re not taking enough time off.

In 2017 one survey found that despite being entitled to 20 days off per year, Japanese workers left ten of those days unused. Topping every other country in the survey, you don’t have to be in the confines of corporate walls to feel the impact of its work culture.

Source: CNBC International Channel on Youtube

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