President of Japan’s largest advertising company resigns after employee’s suicide

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President of Dentsu Inc, Tadashi Ishii. Dentsu is the largest advertising company in Japan.

President of Dentsu Inc, Tadashi Ishii, 65, has announced he’s stepping down following the death of a female employee who committed suicide in December, 2015 due work overload.

Matsuri Takahashi, 24, jumped to her death after having worked 105 hours of overtime in over a month. In a heartbreaking letter to her mother before taking her life she asked: “Why do things have to be so hard?”

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Ishii announced his resignation after an indictment by Japanese Labor authorities. They concluded that the advertising giant and Takahashi’s supervisor broke the Labor Standards Law by forcing her and another employee to work illegally long hours between October and December 2015.

Work overload, commonly known as karoshi is very common in Japan. According to Japanese government figures, at least 2,000 people a year kill themselves due to overwork.

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