Japan recognizes a record number of work-related mental health cases

NHK -- Jun 24
Japan's health ministry says in the last fiscal year that ended in March, a record 629 cases of depression and other mental health issues were recognized as work-related and eligible for compensation.

The ministry says the number of workers who developed mental illness due to extreme stress or long working hours rose by 21 from the previous fiscal year. It was the highest tally since data-taking began in 1983.

Among them, 79 people committed or attempted suicide.

The top reason for recognition was power harassment with 125 cases, followed by drastic changes in the volume or content of work with 71.

The number of workers in their 40s among the approved cases was 200, up 26 from a year earlier. Cases involving workers in their 20s rose by 21 to 153.

The health ministry also says 172 cases of brain stroke, cardiac infarction and other serious illness caused by overwork were accepted as work-related. Of the total, 57 cases were recognized as "karoshi," or death due to overwork.

In addition, two cases involving workers who had multiple jobs and worked for long hours were also considered to be work-related.

The ministry says that applications for work-related compensation for mental health cases also hit a record high, and that it will continue making efforts to end bullying and harassment at work.

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