Major showbiz agencies urged to address long working hours

Several major showbiz management agencies have been urged by authorities to address the long working hours of their employees, with some reporting up to 500 hours of labor per month, sources close to the matter said Saturday.
The talent agencies subject to the nonbinding advisories are Amuse Inc to which popular band Southern All Stars belongs, Osaka-based entertainment powerhouse Yoshimoto Kogyo Co and its subsidiary, and LDH Japan Inc which manages popular dancing and singing group EXILE, according to the sources.
In the case of LDH Japan, a labor standards inspection office in Tokyo recognized in January 2014 that the company had its employees, including managers of EXILE, work up to 500 hours per month.
Amuse, meanwhile, was found by a different labor inspection office to have made an employee work for a month with no days off.
Monthly overtime work of over 80 hours is considered a level that could increase the risk of "karoshi" or death from overwork.
While managers and staffers of such agencies tend to work long hours because they have to adjust their schedules to their clients, the latest incident has exposed the lax management of labor time prevailing in the industry.
All of the agencies told Kyodo News they will make efforts to improve the working environment of their employees.
The government began to step up efforts to combat excessive working hours after a 24-year-old female employee at advertising giant Dentsu Inc committed suicide in December 2015 in a case that was recognized as karoshi.

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