TOKYO, Dec. 31 (UPI) — The leader of Japanese advertising giant Dentsu resigned one year after the suicide of a junior employee who was forced to work excessively long hours.
President and CEO Tadashi Ishii will step down after the January board meeting of Dentsu, which employs 47,000 people and operates in 140 countries, the company confirmed Wednesday.
Ishii’s resignation comes after investigators raided the company’s offices in Tokyo.
“We deeply regret failing to prevent the overwork of our new recruit,” Ishii said at a news conference. “I offer a sincere apology to the bereaved family and everyone in society.”
Japanese regulators determined Matsuri Takahashi, 24, committed suicide because of the long hours.
Takahashi clocked about 105 hours of overtime in October 2015 before her death on Dec. 25 last year, authorities found. She committed suicide by jumping from a corporate dormitory.
This week, the labor ministry this week referred Dentsu and one of its executives to prosecutors.
In Japan, excessive hours are part of the culture and the Japanese word for it is karoshi.
More than 20 percent of Japanese companies said monthly overtime per employee exceeded 80 hours, according to a government white paper on karoshi released in October,
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe favors labor reforms to curtail the work hours.
Also, the government announced in December it would disclose names of companies with deaths related to overwork and monitor unpaid overtime.