The Business Times

Tokyo citizens hand in US$28m in lost cash: police

Published Mon, Feb 16, 2015 · 06:22 AM
Share this article.

[TOKYO] Trustworthy Tokyo-ites handed in US$28 million of lost cash last year, police said Monday, with three quarters of it returned to its rightful owner, in the latest example of Japan's startling honesty.

Upstanding citizens who had chanced upon wallets full of money took a total 3.34 billion yen to their local police officers, a spokesman for Tokyo Metropolitan Police told AFP.

They included one seemingly incorruptible person who, according to the Sports Nippon, found a sports bag stuffed with notes worth US$155,000 - enough to buy a Maserati GranTurismo MC, or a small apartment in the Japanese capital.

Nearly 74 per cent of the total cash found in the year was eventually returned to the people who lost it, the spokesman said - including the holdall full of money.

Under Japanese law, if something is not claimed after three months, the person who handed it in is allowed to keep it.

But astonishingly, 390 million yen in cash went into Tokyo's city coffers after finders relinquished that right.

Local media played up the story as further proof of how safe Japan is, a point Tokyo hammered home during its successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

The country's relative security - something many Japanese are proud of - is often remarked upon by visiting foreigners, who swap tales of wallets or passports accidently abandoned in bars or taxis that invariably get returned.


BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to

Consumer & Healthcare


Get the latest coverage and full access to all BT premium content.


Browse corporate subscription here