17 June 2020
TOKYO – Japanese labor authorities have recognized the 2019 suicide of a Mitsubishi Motors Corp employee as a work-related death resulting from overtime of over 139 hours per month, an attorney said Wednesday.
A labor standards inspection office in Tokyo determined on May 28 that the 47-year-old male employee’s death was due to a mental health problem he developed as a result of the overwork, lawyer Hiroshi Kawahito said at a press conference.
According to Kawahito, the employee, who joined the automaker in April 1993, was involved mainly in the development of plug-in hybrid vehicles for years before being assigned in January 2018 to minivehicle product planning, in which he had no experience.
After the company decided to launch in late March 2019 a new model it developed with another automaker, he became extremely busy coordinating jobs between the two makers and meeting with dealerships to promote the model. He committed suicide in his corporate dormitory room in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, on Feb. 7 the same year.
The labor standards office in Minato Ward found that the employee worked over 139 hours of overtime in the month before his death. The lawyer said the overtime exceeded 153 hours when the time he worked on a computer outside the office is added.