Harassment recognized as cause of worker suicide

NHK -- Oct 21
It has come to light that Japanese labor authorities this year recognized the suicide of a Toyota Motor dealership salesperson as the result of harassment by his superior.

The man's family and their lawyer said he had been working full-time at the dealership of what is now Kanagawa Toyota Motor Sales Company. They said he killed himself in May 2019.

The man developed depression three months before the suicide. Labor standards inspectors say his superior had frequently scolded him in the presence of other employees, for as long as more than one hour.

The findings led labor inspectors to decide in June that his suicide was caused by the superior's power harassment.

The lawyer said labor officials also found the man had worked overtime for more than 100 hours per month, with the amount of work underreported at times.

His family said that when customers canceled their temporary purchase contracts for new cars in succession, his superior told him not to return to his office until he sold vehicles. The superior also reportedly asked the man to compensate for the cancelations.

The man's parents told a news conference that they want to know why their son had to die. They urged the company to apologize to him and change its corporate culture.

They also called on all Japanese businesses to improve their work environments.

Kanagawa Toyota Motor Sales Company said it prays for the man's soul, expressed condolences and apologized to his family.

The company said it will work hard to prevent similar tragedies.