Japanese policeman stabbed self to avoid work
[ 2007-06-05 16:41 ]
A Japanese policeman, distraught by working long hours and
weekends for two months, stabbed himself in the stomach with a knife to
get some time off, police said Monday.
Tomoyuki Mukaide had
struggled to cope with the demands of assisting people affected by
the earthquake that struck Ishikawa prefecture in
The 44-year-old officer knifed himself at his home
in northwestern Japan on May 23, but told police he had been attacked,
prompting an attempted murder
investigation, Ishikawa prefecture police said in a
Investigators began to suspect his story after they could not find
evidence of anyone who matched the description the officer had given, a
police spokesman said.
Suspicions were also raised because the officer - identified as
Tomoyuki Mukaide in the Asahi newspaper - had waited about an hour before
reporting the alleged attack, the spokesman said. His wounds were not
The officer, whose name was not released by police, had been in charge
of a disaster relief detail following a March 25 earthquake in the area
that killed one person injured more than 300, and damaged or destroyed
more than 14,800 homes.
Police thought he had become distraught over his health after putting
in long hours without a break in the quake's aftermath, and wanted to get
away from work.
"He became very busy, he felt like he couldn't handle the work he had
to do, and he felt the work was weighing him down," said the spokesman.
The officer admitted he had stabbed himself in questioning following
his May 31 release from the hospital, the spokesman said. The case is now
being investigated as filing a false report, a misdemeanor.
Japanese workers often face long overtime hours and weekends with
little or no compensation.
Death from overwork, known as "karoshi," has steadily increased since
the Health Ministry first recognized the phenomenon in
distraught: deeply agitated, as from