Families of people who have died from overwork blasted a report adopted Tuesday by a government labor reform panel, saying its call for creating a monthly overtime cap of 100 hours could effectively legalize long working hours at the expense of workers' health.

Emiko Teranishi, 68, head of the nationwide network of family members of karoshi (death from overwork) victims, said the panel's recommendations for limiting overtime feature a number of loopholes.

The panel, chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and created to reduce overtime and promote work-life balance, recommended creating several overtime restrictions and — for the first time — introducing punitive measures for companies who violate them.