Japanese business and labor leaders are close to a final agreement on limiting worker's overtime hours.
The Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, and the country's largest labor organization, Rengo, have been in talks to draw up an agreement on overtime limits. The discussions are in line with a government plan to introduce overtime rules that carry penalties.
In the talks, Keidanren and Rengo broadly agreed to limit total annual overtime to 720 hours.
Rengo proposed a limit of "less than 100 hours" for peak months. This is in line with the standard set for defining "karoshi," or death from overwork.
But Keidanren said it could not accept the wording of "less than." The 2 sides decided to say in the agreement that 100 hours will be used as a "standard" for overtime in peak months.
They conveyed the details of the agreement to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday.
Abe said he wants to set the overtime limit for peak months at "less than 100 hours," as proposed by Rengo, to clearly state his resolve to tackle excessive work hours.
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