National / Crime & Legal

Mitsubishi Electric worker investigated over suicide of recruit

Kyodo

A Mitsubishi Electric Corp. employee has been referred to prosecutors for allegedly abetting suicide after one of the company’s recruits killed himself in August, company and other sources said Saturday.

The Nov. 14 referral of the man, in his 30s, came as police questioned him over information that he had regularly subjected the new employee, in his 20s, to verbal abuse.

The man started training the recruit after he joined the company in April and was stationed to work at a manufacturing technology center in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, in July.

The trainee killed himself in late August, and a note making reference to his office relations was left at the scene, the sources said.

The trainer told an internal investigation that he did not tell the trainee to go die, but may have said something similar, according to the sources. Other colleagues have testified the trainee had been verbally abused.

The company declined to give details on the man’s death, citing ongoing investigations.

Mitsubishi Electric has seen a number of work-related deaths in recent years. Labor authorities awarded workers’ compensation to three employees and family members of two employees who had killed themselves between 2014 and 2017.

It has also been sued for ¥118 million in damages by the parents of a 25-year-old recruit who killed himself after allegedly being bullied by his boss and colleagues in 2017.

In addition, company officials recently revealed that a labor standards office has concluded the 2017 suicide of an employee at its unit was also work-related, recognizing he did more than 100 hours of overtime per month while in a supervisory position.

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