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Ind Health. 2017 Jun 8;55(3):293-302. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.2016-0198. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

Overwork-related disorders in Japan: recent trends and development of a national policy to promote preventive measures.

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Research Center for Overwork-Related Disorders, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan.
College of Education, Yokohama National University, Japan.
Kawasaki City Center for Mental Health and Welfare, Japan.


Overwork-related disorders, such as cerebrovascular/cardiovascular diseases (CCVD) and mental disorders due to overwork, are a major occupational and public health issue worldwide, particularly in East Asian countries. This report discusses the recent trend of overwork-related disorders in Japan from the perspective of workers' compensated occupational diseases, as well as the development of a national policy for preventive measures against overwork-related disorders in Japan. Recently, the number of claimed and compensated cases of occupational mental disorders has increased substantially, particularly among young workers, as compared to those of occupational CCVD. In response to these situations and action from society, the Japanese Government passed the "Act on Promotion of Preventive Measures against Karoshi and Other Overwork-Related Health Disorders" in June 2014 to develop a national initiative towards the prevention of overwork-related disorders. Changes in the trend of overwork-related disorders in Japan under a legal foundation and an initiative by the central government should be closely monitored so that other countries can benefit from the experiences.


Cardiovascular diseases; Cerebrovascular diseases; Japan; Mental disorders; National strategies; Overwork; Work stress

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