Japan's labour ministry has started a crackdown on about 4,000 "black companies" that force young employees to work extremely long hours for minimal pay, a step aimed at ending this exploitative business practice and improving their treatment.
If gross labour law violations are detected during the month-long crackdown, the ministry plans to send papers to prosecutors and publicise the names of the offending companies.
The crackdown is intended to help workers like the 26-year-old Tokyo man who joined an apparel trading company after graduating from university in the spring of 2011 and soon found himself in a hellish working environment. His boss yelled at him almost daily, and fists flew from time to time.
"If you don't reach your sales targets, don't take holidays," he was reportedly told. "You're just a waste of space."
The man was forced to work until late every night, and often came into the office on weekends. Although he clocked up more than 100 hours of overtime every month, he did not receive overtime pay. The company hired five new employees every year, but they would soon quit.
Eventually, the man could no longer stand the working environment. In autumn 2012, he resigned.
Japan's push to take away overtime from high-paid workers has critics warning it will aggravate a problem synonymous with the country's notoriously long working hours -- karoshi, or death from overwork. (AFP)
The Fukushima District Court on Monday sentenced a 33-year-old man to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, for distributing naked photos of a female friend-a practice known as revenge porn. (Japan Today)
Tochigi Prefectural Police on Sunday confirmed that a body discovered on a property in Mooka City is that of a 21-year-old woman who went missing last month, reports the Sankei Shimbun. (Tokyo Reporter)
About half of the nation's 47 prefectural and 20 ordinance-designated city governments have prohibited or are considering a ban on drone flights in locations that attract large numbers of people, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. (The Japan News)
When you hear the expression "JK business," do you have any idea what kind of work this refers to? JK stands for joshi kōsei (high school girls). In Japan, JK is a very powerful brand - and high school girls are a highly valued commodity. (Japan Times)
The Mito city government is seeking donations from companies and individuals to help restore major parts of Mito Castle: the Otemon main gate, the Ninomaru Sumiyagura watch tower within the outer structures of the castle and the castle walls. (The Japan News)
Okayama Prefectural Police have launched an attempted murder investigation following the shooting of two organized crime members outside a hostess club in Tamano City early Saturday morning, reports the Sankei Shimbun. (Tokyo Reporter)