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The family of a Chinese man who died while taking part in a government training program at a metal processing firm in Ibaraki Prefecture has filed a ¥57.5 million damages suit, arguing he was killed by overwork.

Jiang Xiaodong’s family said he arrived in Japan as a trainee in 2005 and died of cardiac arrest in June 2008 at age 31 after working more than 180 hours of overtime a month.

The suit, filed Friday with the Mito District Court, names the firm, Fuji Denka Kogyo, and an intermediary agency, as the defendants.

It is the first lawsuit ever concerning the death of a foreign trainee or intern due to overwork

The family says the Itako-based company paid only ¥300 an hour for overtime while falsifying time cards and wage records to hide the excessive working hours from regulators.

The intermediary agency, Shiraho Kyodo Kumiai, neglected to properly supervise the company, the family claims.

A local labor office said in November that Jiang’s death was caused by overwork.

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