People Are Outraged After This Woman Died Of Heart Failure From Being Pressured To Work 150 Hours Of Overtime

"When women die from overwork, they become a news story."

In July 2013, Miwa Sado, a 31-year-old journalist from Tokyo, Japan, died from congestive heart failure.

Japan's Labor Standards Inspection Office attributed her death to karoshi — aka death from overwork — in 2014. However, her employer, Japan's national broadcaster NHK, didn't acknowledge it until just last week.

A close friend of Sado found her dead in her bed, still holding her cell phone.

NHK said it "refrained from making an announcement" for three years out of respect for her family.

After NHK finally publicly acknowledged Sado's death, the story exploded across Japanese social media and inspired others to share their own stories about the pressures of overwork.


"This is painful. I also worked at least 100 hours overtime before I was fired due to mental illness. I worked 20 days a month with overtime five hours a day, finished work at 10 o'clock, and got back home at around 11. If it was 120 hours of overtime work, I would've finished work half past midnight and arrived at home at 1:30. It's definitely impossible to work like this every day."


"I just saw a news report on how long the woman had worked overtime, and it was pretty much similar to mine. I guess it means that if I'd still continued [working like that], it wouldn't have been a surprise if I died from overwork within two years."

学生に会社から身を守る方法を学ばせよう。私の場合は旦那に「自殺するかも」とメールで伝えたら「会社を辞めていいよ」と言ってくれたので助かった。でも彼女の場合は臓器が先にやられた。誰かに伝える時間さえなかったのかも 女性記者の過労死

"We should educate students ways to protect themselves from companies. In my case, when I told my husband through email that 'I might commit suicide,' he rescued me by responding, 'You can quit your job.' But in her case, her organs stopped functioning first. Maybe she didn't even have time to tell someone."

こういうの見ると思う。私はたまたま死なずにすんでラッキーだっただけなんだと。 NHKの31歳女性記者が過労死 残業、月159時間(朝日新聞デジタル) - Yahoo!ニュース @YahooNewsTopics

"When I read news like this, I think about how lucky I simply am not ending up dead."


"An employee at NHK died from 159 hours of overwork. I've done it before, and I had no room in my mind for sure."

While others blasted young Japanese workers — particularly women — calling them "spoiled."


"When women die from overwork, they become a news story."


"Japan doesn't have resources, so you'll fully be an adult once you overwork. There's an obligation to work in the Constitution as well. People who don't work are disqualified as a member of society. Saying that you want to rest is lenience. Have you ever thought about how privileged Japanese people are, when you look at the world?"

NHKのリポーター?が159時間の残業で死んでたってやつ、なんとも思わないねぇ なぜなら毎月200時間くらい残業してるからねぇ 159くらいで死なれたら俺なんか毎月死んでは生き返ってるわけだよ?

"I don't feel anything at all about the news, because I work overtime for around 200 hours each month. If you let her die with just 159 hours, I'll be dying and coming back alive each month."

The announcement about Sado's death also reminded many people in Japan about the suicide of a young woman named Matsuri Takahashi at an advertising agency last year.

A female journalist who, in the past, logged more than 100 hours of overwork at a newspaper told BuzzFeed Japan, "You could feel that our sense of time was out of tune with society."