A 31-year-old woman in Japan, a journalist, in fact, recently died… from overwork. She put in 159 hours of overtime in her last month, taking only two days off (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/05/japanese-woman-dies-overwork-159-hours-overtime).
According to the government, 1 in 5 Japanese employees is at risk of death or suicide as a result of overwork. They’ve even got a word for that kind of death: karoshi. The government says employers want their employees to put in excessive overtime “to demonstrate their dedication” to the job. So they’re mulling legislation to limit overtime to 100 hours a month.
World War II hollowed out Japanese culture; and what flowed back in to fill it up was not very nice. Their cities lay in ruins. Their emperor, supposedly a god, had to sign surrender articles aboard a U.S. battleship. They were nuked twice. And so, it seems, they raised up an idol to replace all that was lost. Economic progress and prosperity, literally at any cost: that replaced everything they’d once believed it.
What Japan needed was Jesus Christ, and spiritual healing. This never occurred to General MacArthur and his Occupation government. It certainly never occurred to the Japanese themselves. We all wanted to build Japan back up as quickly as possible, as a bulwark against communism.
That was accomplished. But at what cost?
Now the government is getting nervous because the idol is consuming too many lives, and at an early age, to boot. Japan’s birth rate has dropped almost to the vanishing point. They seem to be really gone on humanoid robots–as replacements, I suppose: very few babies are getting born.
Hundreds of years ago, the Japanese government wiped out Japanese Christians in a savage campaign of genocide.
The ripples of that event have yet to lap against the farthest shore.