Japan's Dentsu has been fined just 500,000 yen ($4,400) after a Tokyo court ruled it had made employees work overtime beyond legal limits - a case that followed a high profile death from overwork at the advertising giant. David Pollard reports.
The fine is small - but the implications big for Japan - as for advertising giant Dentsu. As a court rules against it for making employees work overtime beyond legal limits. After a case that followed 'karoshi' - death by overwork. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) CEO OF DENTSU INC, TOSHIHIRO YAMAMOTO, SAYING: "I'm taking the ruling very seriously. It made me realize the severity of the situation once again." Matsuri Takahashi had worked 105 hours of overtime in October 2015 when she fell into depression... She then jumped to her death from a company dormitory on Christmas day - at the age of 24. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) MOTHER OF MATSURI TAKAHASHI, YUKIMI TAKAHASHI, SAYING: "The ruling today proved that making employees work in an illegal manner is a crime, and that corporations are the ones responsible." The case prompted national soul-searching and helped spur government plans for sweeping reforms of labour laws. Currently, they only allow for small fines for breaches relating to overtime. In this instance, 500,000 yen, or $4,400. Though the case is far a one-off. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) MOTHER OF MATSURI TAKAHASHI, YUKIMI TAKAHASHI, SAYING: "I recently learned that the death of a journalist at NHK was deemed karoshi. This didn't just happen to Matsuri. Regardless of the size of the company or the profession, similar tragedies are happening across Japan." 31-year-old journalist Miwa Sado died of congestive heart failure following 159 hours of overtime. And in the past financial year, 191 deaths have been ruled as related to overwork. As for Dentsu, a statement offered its deepest apologies to stakeholders and the general public. Adding that CEO Toshihiro Yamamoto will take a 20 percent pay cut for six months.