• Kyodo News

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A record 269 people received workers’ compensation for mental illness due to hard work in fiscal 2008, up one from the year before, according to a survey released Monday by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Of them, 66 either committed or attempted suicide. Although that figure fell by 15 from the previous year, it was still the second highest number since the ministry started keeping records. All but four of the 66 were men, and 24 of the total were people in their 50s.

There were 889 applications filed from people claiming to be suffering brain- and heart-related illnesses, of which 377 received workers’ compensation. Of them, compensation was paid out for 158 after they died from brain- or heart-related diseases, including stroke — the second highest on record.

In this category, 93 percent were men and 38 percent were in their 50s, followed by people in the 40s at 31 percent.

Figures for those who committed suicide or died due to overwork remained high.

According to the survey, 927 workers applied for workers’ compensation for mental illness. Of the 269 who received it, 28 percent were in their 30s while people in their 20s and 40s accounted for 26 percent each.

By occupation, special technicians were the most common, at 26 percent.

Among those who received workers’ compensation, 131 worked between 80 to 100 hours of monthly overtime, while 207 worked more than 100 hours of overtime a month.

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