Flyjin kill salaryman

According to this story on NHK, a Fujitsu employee was judged to have died from karoshi thanks in part to:


Two foreign bosses suddenly returned to their home country and an indeterminate number of underlings were hospitalised, so he had to cover but died from the strain.

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  1. This has always been my real beef with the flyjin. It’s one thing when an eikaiwa or part-timer suddenly decides to drop everything and leave, but when you work at a company with long-term projects, especially as a manager, the work doesn’t disappear just because you do. Someone, Japanese or foreign, is going to have to cover for you while also dealing with all the other post-disaster stresses and possibly even coping with lost or missing family of their own.

    Maybe the idea of co-workers as family is naively quaint in this day and age, but running to save yourself while your subordinates stay behind to take care of your duties strikes me as nothing but self-centered cowardice.

  2. @sublight:

    It’s not a quaint idea anywhere. Think how much effort the best companies put into team-building and employee loyalty. It’s just wankers that it’s old-fashioned to think there can be anything more than a cold contractual relationship with the people they spend the majority of their waking lives working with.

  3. This is Fujitsu we are talking about, not some under-resourced band of brothers. Far too many karoshi cases take place at major companies, who often seem to feel free to ignore their duty of care towards employees. That’s certainly the problem the dead man’s wife identifies in the comments attributed to her.

    From the NHK article alone, I don’t even know we can conclude the two foreigners fled. It’s not clear, for instance, whether they were head office employees, rather than overseas contract employees based in the head office.

    A number of foreign subsidiaries of Japanese companies pulled their employees, on secondment or business trips in Japan, out of the country in the aftermath of the quake. Some also imposed travel bans which weren’t lifted for months. There were often good, practical reasons for doing so.

  4. I think blaming the karoshi on the two foreigners is a pretty big leap. Being understaffed shouldn’t mean you have to work to death, and if it does, it doesn’t because of the people who made you understaffed.

  5. Since blame clearly should fall on management, I assume the title is a parody of how Crusaders would take this story (if they read Japanese) to take and trumpet as “Japanese blame gaijin/flyjin” and ignore all other factors mentioned. Just as they did with the whole [lack of] flyjin being mentioned in the J press back in 2011.

    And once let their lazy rage blind them to an opportunity to bash Japan with a legitimate complaint (the needless zangyou, poor management, etc. that leads to karoshi) that we would all agree on.

    Seriously. Why do the crusaders continually NOT focus on issues we would all agree on? (Housing, employment issues, random immigration bullshit, etc.) There’s something important there…

  6. @Level3:

    Oops, should read

    And once again let their lazy rage blind them to an opportunity to bash Japan with a legitimate complaint…

  7. @beneaththewheel: I was of course trolling with the headline, and also preempting what others might seriously chose as theirs.

    Knowing the inside of a Japanese company, they don’t handle scheduling very well…

  8. @Ken Y-N: Gotcha, apologies for being a little daft.

  9. re. the post office and gaijin cards. I had the same experience. I just whipped out my health insurance card, which was accepted, though it is not a photo ID. Many Japanese don’t have driver’s licences or other photo ID either, and the health insurance card serves as official ID.


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