Japan cracks down on 'black companies'
stuff.co.nz -- Sep 02
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.

過酷な長時間残業など労働環境に問題があるいわゆる"ブラック企業"について、1日、­厚生労働省が無料の電話相談を行っています。
Oct 25
Trade chiefs from 12 countries involved in an ambitious Pacific free trade initiative started a three-day meeting Saturday in Sydney in a bid to make progress toward a U.S.-proposed goal of reaching a deal by year-end. (Kyodo)
Oct 25
Police on Friday night arrested a 38-year-old man who stabbed a passerby in front of Tokyo's Ueno Station. (Japan Today)
Oct 25
Japan will check the recent travel histories of all people arriving at international airports in the country to identify those who have visited Ebola-affected West African countries, the health ministry said Friday. (The Japan News)
Oct 25
Japan's Meteorological Agency is warning that a volcano may erupt in the Kirishima mountain range in Kyushu. Mount Ioyama straddles the southwestern prefectures of Kagoshima and Miyazaki. (NHK)
Oct 24
The Cabinet approved a bill Friday to revise the adult entertainment business law to enable dance clubs to operate past midnight, provided they meet interior lighting regulations. (Japan Times)
Oct 25
Police in Tokyo's Mizuhomachi area have arrested a 20-year-old man for pouring urine from a PET bottle on a 14-year-old girl earlier this month. (Japan Today)
Oct 24
Police have arrested a 64-year-old man from Tsubame, Niigata Prefecture, for threatening a former Asahi Shimbun reporter over stories he wrote about the comfort women issue. (Japan Today)
Oct 24
The government said Friday it has chosen Nobel physics prize laureates Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano and five others as this year's winners of Japan's top cultural award, the Order of Culture. (Kyodo)
Oct 24
Police have confirmed the 57th death in the eruption of Mount Ontake in central Japan. Another 6 people are still missing after Japan's worst volcanic disaster in decades. (NHK)
Oct 23
A 36-year-old woman holding her one-year-old son in her arms jumped off the platform in front of a train at Nezu Station on the Chiyoda subway line in Tokyo, police said. (Japan Today)
Oct 23
The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a high court ruling that a western Japan hospital was within its rights to demote a physical therapist who sought a lighter workload due to pregnancy. (Kyodo)
Oct 23
A 15-year-old girl was assaulted by a man who stole her school uniform skirt in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, police said Thursday. (Japan Today)
Oct 23
A Thai man has admitted killing a 79-year-old Japanese man who has been missing in Thailand since late September, according to local police sources. (Jiji Press)
Oct 22
Police in Hachioji, Tokyo, said Wednesday that a man suspected of fatally stabbing a 35-year-old woman at her home, apparently jumped to his death from the building roof. (Japan Today)
Oct 22
A total of 74 people are believed to have died from January to September this year due to their use of so-called dangerous drugs, according to the National Police Agency. (The Japan News)