JAPAN: Osaka Printing Company Raided by Labor Bureau

JEREMIAH FAJARDO WRITES – Seventeen cases of bile duct cancer later, Sanyo-CYP Co., an Osaka printing company, has finally come under the stern scrutiny of the city’s Labor Bureau.

According to The Mainichi Daily, one of Japan’s prominent dailies, Sanyo-CYP’s headquarters and No. 2 factory were raided recently. The affected workers, whose ages ranged from 20s to 40s, had been exposed to an ink detergent that contained two toxic solvents.

Sadly, this particular health violation is nothing new. Last year, The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, which was aware of the problem, “issued an administrative order to the company to correct the situation.” But, following an eighth cancer-related death in January, it was evident that nothing had been done. The Ministry now seeks “criminal charges against the company.” According to investigatve reports, the printing company’s negligence was clear in the lack of a proper ventilation system. This resulted in workers being exposed to air whose toxicity “was up to 21 times the upper limit set by the United States.”

Aside from the 17confirmed cases, 47 other people have come forward seeking compensation. If these new cases are indeed related to Sanyo-CYP then the magnitude of the problem could be far greater than anticipated. However, all that can be confirmed at the time is the corporation’s apparently unfortunate lack of attention to worker safety.

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