At around 7:30 a.m. on Feb 22, a man walked into a police box complaining that while he was using the urinal of Shonaidori Station on the Tsurumai Line of Nagoya’s subway he felt someone push into his back. Checking afterwards he discovered blood.
Sure enough, when the police examined the 54-year-old man they found a 2.5 centimeter-long stab wound on the right side of his lower back. He was then rushed to hospital for treatment while the restroom of Shonaidori Station was closed off to be investigated as a crime scene.
It is unclear whether it was because evidence was found at the crime scene, or because investigators were finding inconsistencies in his testimony, but that same day while waiting in the hospital the victim felt compelled to come clean and confess that he was his own attacker.
About 10 minutes prior to going to the police, the man had entered the bathroom of Shonaidori Station and drove his own 13-centimeter kitchen knife into his back and then discarded the blade into some shrubbery outside of the station.
When asked the obvious question of “why,” the man said he “thought that getting injured would be a good way not to go to work.”
While many were wondering why lying hadn’t occurred to the man, other readers had this to say:
“Well, I guess I feel better that there isn’t a maniac with a knife on the loose.” “Why the back?” “When we were young and didn’t want to go to war, we drank soy sauce.” “I know how that guy feels.” “A Japanese company wouldn’t let you get a day off after being stabbed anyway. They’d order you right back into the office after the police report is finished.” “I think our society has been stabbed in a bathroom.” “This is just sad.” “So… is stabbing yourself in the back a crime then?”
To answer the last comment’s question, stabbing yourself isn’t necessarily a crime in itself, although it might land you a trip to the psychiatrist for an evaluation. However, making a false report to police and causing them to close down part of a subway station definitely is. The man was immediately arrested on charges of “fraudulent obstruction of business.”
However, just as Nagoya police were closing the case on this fake stabbing, a call came into the emergency line for police in Kurume City, Fukuoka on the other side of the country. Someone had reported that “an unidentified assailant stabbed a co-worker near their company.”
The 26-year-old victim was then taken to hospital with a deep stab wound in his right elbow. He told the authorities that just as he was getting out of his car in the parking lot of the baked goods company where he worked someone attempted to steal his backpack. When the man resisted he was stabbed.
However, police quickly began to notice unusual things about the victim… such as the fact that he had a knife in his possession. After putting the pieces together they confronted the so-called victim who then confessed to stabbing himself because he “didn’t want to go into” the baked goods company where he worked. He too was arrested for filing a false police report.
Judging by these actions, police departments in Japan are really in need of a PR boost, because it would appear that these men assumed the police aren’t really effective at their jobs.
Rather than just claiming that they accidentally impaled themselves on knives while housecleaning without involving the cops, they presumably thought the authorities would just overlook their assault claims and toss their reports into a dusty old filing cabinet instead of doing some actual police-work. Much to their chagrin, the boys in blue were on-point and able to see right through their loosely-crafted facades.
And of course the obvious question that we all must be pondering now is: “How abysmal does one’s job have to be, where plunging a knife into yourself is considered as an alternative?”
Sources: Asahi Shimbun, Sankei News, Hachima Kiko, @Nifty News
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