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Dentsu, former boss referred over death of young employee

In September, a labour standards inspection office in Tokyo ruled that Ms Takahashi's death was related to overwork. She had worked 105 hours of overtime over the course of a month from October 9, 2015, according to a report in the Asahi newspaper.

"I offer my honest apology", Tadashi Ishii, the president of Dentsu, said at a press conference today.

Tadashi Ishii, the CEO of advertising giant Dentsu, announced following a year-long investigation into company practices that led to an employee's death, CNN reported.

Death-by-overwork is a growing problem in Japan, where it's called karoshi.

On Wednesday, Mr Ishii, who has been chief executive in 2011, said: "This is something that should never have been allowed to happen". "We are now committed to use our utmost efforts to make actual improvements to the working environment and to effectively eradicate long working hours at our company". "I will take full responsibility and will step down at a board meeting in January".

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That study found that in a country that imposes few limits on employers regarding overtime hours and pay, more than a fifth of companies had staff that worked more than 80 hours of overtime in a month - the government threshold.

Dentsu said the Commission seeks to "prevent repeated overwork issues" and will include business planning and a review of its personnel system and business flow. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing laws that would raise wages for temporary employees, who are at the highest risk of karoshi, while also consulting experts on other changes that could boost pay and quality of life for employees in the world's third-largest economy.

The Japanese government previous year approved a law to address problems caused by excessive work, but the lack of rigor on recording of extra hours by firms, and the staff's willingness to extend their working hours to earn a bonus makes it hard to control the practice.

"It's impossible to get rid of karoshi alone", Koji Morioka, a professor at Kansai University in Japan, told The Washington Post earlier this year.

The Health, Welfare and Labor Ministry's Tokyo Labor Bureau took the legal action against the senior official, who was a boss of Matsuri Takahashi, who killed herself at 24, partly due to the effect her suicide had on society.

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