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Japan’s crackdown on truck driver time beyond regulation raises fears of financial breakdown

Truck driver Yuichi Tomita has been delivering packages throughout Japan for 20 years, usually clocking 40 straight hours on the highway. He says the work is hard however a supply of delight, and one he is by no means considered quitting – till now.

On April 1, 2024, the federal government will restrict truck drivers’ annual time beyond regulation to 960 hours, amongst different reforms officers say are supposed to enhance the job’s notoriously gruelling circumstances and make it extra enticing.

Drivers reminiscent of Tomita say the legislation will as a substitute result in an exodus from an occupation the place most want these additional hours to pay the payments.

That has sparked fears of what these in retail and logistics name the “2024 crisis”: a important scarcity of truck drivers that, if unaddressed, may depart a 3rd of all cargo undelivered and lead to a possible 10 trillion yen ($76 billion) hit to the world’s third-largest economic system by 2030, by authorities estimates.

An anticipated drop-off within the variety of truck drivers would set off a domino impact for farmers, outlets and diners accustomed to next-day supply of recent fish and crisp produce.
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