The Japanese public broadcaster promised to reform his working practices because he revealed that a young journalist died of heart failure after recording 159 hours of overtime in a month.
NHK journalist Miwa Sado, 31, covering the political news in Tokyo, was found dead in bed in July 2013, allegedly caught his cell phone.
A year later, Japanese officials said his death was linked to excessive overtime. She had two days off in the month before her death.
NHK finally made the case public four years later, bowing to the pressure of Sado’s parents to take measures to avoid a recurrence.
The case again highlights the Japanese problem of karoshi, or death by overwork, in the middle of the notoriously long years of work of the country.
It is also an embarrassing revelation for NHK, which has campaigned against the long working culture of the nation.
Sato covered the elections of the Tokyo Assembly in June 2013 and a House of Representatives voted for the National Parliament the following month.
He died three days after the election of the Upper House.
“My heart breaks when she thinks she wanted to call me” in her last moments, her mother told the Asahi newspaper.
“With Miwa gone, I feel that half my body has been ripped off. I could not really laugh for the rest of my life.”
The revelation shocked the country when NHK allegedly reported tragic deaths in other companies, including the suicide of a young woman in the Dentsu advertising agency in 2015 after recording over 100 hours of overtime month.
The NHK manager is committed to improving working conditions at the station.
“We regret to have lost an excellent journalist and to take seriously the fact that his death was recognized as being linked to work,” said President Ryoichi Ueda on Thursday.
“We will continue to work for reform in cooperation with their parents,” he told reporters.