Keidanren and Rengo have agreed to limit monthly overtime to 100 hours during busy periods as Japan seeks to change its deep-rooted culture of working long hours.

Experts say 100 hours of overtime in a month can still have serious health consequences, but the agreement is seen as a step toward broader labor reform under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe met with the chiefs of Keidanren, the nation's biggest business lobby, and Rengo, otherwise known as the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, and asked them to settle for "less than" 100 hours.