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Earlier this month, a shocking survey result was announced. The survey, conducted by work-style consultancy Work Life Balance Co. on 480 public servants between March and May, revealed that a distressing number of bureaucrats in government ministries have been logging overtime at a level that could cause death from overwork.

Due particularly to the spread of COVID-19, some 40 percent of the officials surveyed who work in the bureaucratic ground zero of Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki district have been putting in a whopping 100 hours of overtime or more per month.

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