TOKYO : Japan sometime ago released its first nationwide employer blacklist, naming-and-shaming  more than 300 companies for breaking labour laws, as Tokyo began ramping up efforts to tackle notoriously long work hours blamed for ''karoshi'', or death from overwork.

The labour ministry's list, which was released in 2017, called out hundreds of firms, including advertising giant Dentsu and an arm of Panasonic, for illegal overtime and other workplace violations.

The top executive at Dentsu quit later last year in response to the suicide of young employee who regularly logged more than 100 hours of overtime a month.

The death of Matsuri Takashashi presented nationwide headlines, prompting the government to come up with a solution to punishing work hours blamed for hundreds of death due to strokes, heart attacks and suicides every year.

Many times on the labour ministry list - a compilation of publicity available data -are construction firms accused of  safety infractions, such as having employees work without proper protection or letting them operate heavy machinery without being certified to do so.

It was unclear what impact the tactic would have on firm's behaviour. And the list named fewer than a  dozen companies  in the capital Tokyo for breaching labour laws between October and April.

That year, a panel headed by  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came up with a plan calling on employees to limit overtime to a maximum of  100 hours per month, which critics slammed as still too high.

Currently, Japanese firms can make  full-time employees work far beyond the usual  40 hours a week  during busy periods.

Overtime is viewed as a sign of dedication at many firms, even if Japanese companies have employees whose tendency to overwork puts at serious risk of dying, according to a government survey published in October.  [AFP]


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