Diaz_Final paper JBC.docx - Camila Diaz Japanese Business...

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Camila Diaz Japanese Business Culture Prof. H. Ota July 21, 2017 Final Paper Mental Health in Japan Japan has a worldwide reputation of quality and efficiency when it comes to work, manufacturing, companies, and the business world overall. Besides a lot of the marvelous things and aspects Japan has to offer, the world also knows about various social issues that have risen in this country, such as a decreasing marriage and birth rate, the gap between gender roles, and the alarming rate of suicides; and even though all of the previously mentioned dilemmas have their own causes and importance, suicide is the voluntary end of a life, the way a person says they have been feeling incarcerated and with no other option. Hence the topic of this article, where both suicide and the path that leads to it, being a deterioration in mental health, and companies’ efficiency clash since they might getting more done but at the employees’ expense. A better understanding of what death by work overload, otherwise known as karoshi , is and its importance, as well as the steps in a mental health deterioration is necessary at first, to then take a better look into its possible causes and development over the years and history as well at take a look at today’s situation, what is happening and how is it being handled. Karoshi ( 過労死 ), as mentioned previously, means death by overwork from its literal translation. It used to only be the legal process a family went through to ask for compensation due to someone’s sudden death in relation to their work or job, however, nowadays it is referred to as work-related deaths. Karoshi is the epitome of the worst consequences rooted in a deteriorated mental health, which is why mental health is such an important part of this paper. Over work and an immense
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amount of work load, overtime, long shifts, and pressure are causing Japanese employees to fall into depression, develop anxiety, anger issues, within other mental diseases. Any of the previously mentioned can lead to a loss of appetite, bad alimentation habits, increased blood pressure, alcohol and tobacco dependency, pushing the person to a non-voluntary death from overwork. On the other hand, it can also lead the person to consider a voluntary death. Under what karoshi encompasses, a more relevant term emerges, karojisatsu ( 過労自殺 ). According to Kawahito Hiroshi, this new term refers to people who commit suicide due to stress and mental disorders caused by their work and the person loses the mental ability to evaluate the act of deliberately take their own life ( Kawahito, H. 1998). Karoshi and karojisatsu are only two of the terrible ways severe mental disorders caused by overwork can end, a person suffering from mental issues can also keep living, so to speak, but in a damaging state of misery, depression, doubt, self-harm, etc.
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