• The Associated Press

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A police officer, 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.

The 44-year-old officer knifed himself at his home in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, on May 23 but told police he had been attacked, prompting an attempted murder investigation, Ishikawa police said in a statement.

Investigators began to doubt his story after they could not find evidence of anyone who matched the description the officer had given, a police spokesman said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

Suspicions were also raised because the officer — identified as Tomoyuki Mukaide in a one media report — had waited about an hour before reporting the alleged attack, the spokesman said. His wounds were not life-threatening.

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.

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