My rough translation: The use of the Japanese word "karoshi" [in English] suggests that this is a peculiarly Japanese afflication. It has appeared in English and other foreign language dictionaries. "Karoshi" is an expression representing the belief that Japan, despite being a developed country, has feudalistic working conditions.
Incidentally, I'm inclined to believe that karoshi is overreported in Japan and underreported elsewhere, and to the extent it is overreported here, it is too bloody useful to criticize as yellow journalism.
Makes you wonder not just how much it is over-reported in Japan but definitely how much it is under-reported in the rest of the world (which would seem to be the bigger problem). I'm pretty sure employers would rather not know about this.
In the current economic climate there is a lot of pressure on the employees remaining at companies after lay-offs to pull just that little bit harder to make up for the workers that have left the company, it might push a few of them past the breaking point.
“Pointy Haired Boss: In Japan employees occasionally work themselves to death. It's called Karoshi. I don't want that to happen to anybody in my department. The trick is to take a break as soon as you see a bright light and hear dead relatives beckon.” -- http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Dilbert
I heard "work/life balance" once on the news. It was, naturally, rendered in English. We don't have a word for that yet, and will probably continue using the English coinage for that, like we do most foreign concepts.
Your experience at a company may be different, of course. I haven't had the chance to experience it, and I'm not sure I really want to ;)
But the thing is certainly happening in other countries too, like the recent situation in France where in a couple of months there were 24 high skilled workers from the same telephone company committing suicide.
That's really bad.