June 15, 2017 11:31 pm JST
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Overworked

Excellence in lifestyle coverage

Long hours, drive for success take deadly toll on workers across Asia.

 

Economic prosperity at a personal cost


"Goodbye, my beloved and precious mom. Life, work and everything is painful." After sending this message to her mother, Matsuri Takahashi, then an employee at Dentsu, Japan's largest advertising agency, threw herself from a company dormitory in Tokyo on Dec. 25, 2015. Her suicide was later officially recognized as a case of karoshi -- death from overwork. Japan's karoshi law covers both suicides and deaths from illness caused by overwork.

 

Hong Kong's unsung heroines


It is no secret that Hong Kong's prosperity is powered by a workforce that puts in intense hours. "All workaholics should move to Hong Kong, where working hours average over 50 per week, with only 17 days of holiday annually," Swiss financial group UBS said in a 2015 prices and earnings report.


Philippine women continue to pile on the overtime


At a time when women around the world are working fewer and fewer hours, women in the Philippines continue to pile on the overtime.

 

South Korea's work-life imbalance


Chung, 38, quit her job last year as a senior nurse at a Seoul hospital where she had worked for eight years. She now has a nursing job at a U.S. military hospital in Pyeongtaek, some 70km south of the capital. Though she makes only about two-thirds as much as she used to, Chung, who wished to be identified only by her last name, said she has no regrets.

 

How can Asia clock out?


Asia's economic rise has come with some downsides: income inequality in countries such as Indonesia and Thailand, environmental degradation in Vietnam and China, uncontrolled urban sprawl and clogged traffic in Manila and Mumbai.

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