Black corporation Japan award 2016

black corporations Japan

Last year, an employee of Dentsu (one of the biggest advertisement agencies in Japan and world) committed suicide because of working stress. The employee often worked 20 hours a day and worked on the weekend. The overwork caused her to commit suicide because of stress and depression. Tokyo Labor Bureau authorized the incident as “death from overwork” and “industrial accident”.

The term “black corporations”. (ブラック企業 /black kigyou/), force employees to overtime work and  overworks and less salaries. By the incident of Dentsu employee, the media picks up black corporations Japan on news and the government and local Labor Bureaus have started investigating companies more in deep.

My previous blog post about Black corporations Japan (Black companies) is here.

Black companies in Japan.

The black corporations award Japan was held as 5th award on December 1st, and 10 companies are nominated as the list below (only 8 companies in the list). On Dec 23, the ceremony was held and the grand prize was announced.

Black corporations Japan award 2016

 8 nominated companies and reasons

1.AJIS Co., Ltd.

In 2016, AJIS Co., Ltd received a citation from the Chiba Labor Bureau due to they forced employees illegal hours of working time. According to Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, AJIS Co., Ltd made 63 employees in 4 branch offices to work overtime more than 100 hours in a month. The highest overtime work hour was 187 hours. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced this officially. This official announcement of black corporations by name was the first time in the Japanese history.


One of the biggest advertisement agencies in the world. Couple employees committed suicide because of the overwork and over time including an employee in the introduction.

3.Don Quijote Co.,Ltd.

One of the largest discount stores in Japan. 8 local branch stores’ managers were sent the case to the public prosecutor’s office on forcing Illegal overtime works to the employees. The longest overtime work hours in 3 month was 415 hours.

4.Printpac corporation

In March, 2010, a new graduate who started working 1 month ago died in an accident of printer (caught into the printer). The corporation announced that this accident was due to the failure of the machine. However, the workers of this group claimed that it is die to overwork. They usually worked over 80 overtime hours per month. These workers formed a union in 2013. The corporation reacted to this union members in ways that not rising a salary and not paying bonuses.

5.Kansai Electric Power

The biggest Electric company in Kansai.

A manager position employee committed suicide because of over 100 hours overwork in a month.

6.Sagawa Express Co., Ltd

One of the biggest logistics company in Japan.

An employee in Sendai branch committed suicide because of bullying, violence, and power harrassment. The employee was shot by air guns, spitted, and physically punished when he made mistakes in daily life.

For more information about power harrasment in Jalan,

Too much harassment in Japan

7.Sato Restaurant Systems Co., Ltd

A Japanese restaurant chain corporation located in Osaka.

According to the media report, Sato Restaurant Systems was instructed by the local Labor Bureaus 18 times due to overtime works and unpaid salaries. However, Sato restaurant corporation did not improve. Finally, Osaka Labor Bureau executed compulsory investigation to Sato Restaurant Systems. The investigation revealed that there were total 4 million dollars unpaid salaries to 650 employees.


An temple in Kyoto. It was registered to the world heritage in 1994.

A head chef at a hotel the temple runs sued because of unpaid salaries and overtime works. The chef worked 356 days (349 days without day off) and at most over 240 hours overtime works. Supreme Court of Japan, Kyoto branch charged Ninnaji about $420,000 to the chef.

If you are planning to change your job in Japan, you would avoid those companies; however, those companies are very domestic and there are few positions for international employees.

The grand prize

The grand prize was given to Dentsu in 2016. I believe that the value and size of the company caused this grand prize. The employee’s suicide still has been on news everyday. I am really hoping that the labor standard in Japan is reviewed again cloaely and reduce the employees’ suicide and death caused by the overtime works, overworks, and harrassment.

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