Tokyo's residents handed in $38 million in lost cash last year: Police

Tokyo residents handed in 3.34 billion yen (S$38 million) in lost cash last year, the police said on Monday, Feb 16, 2015, with three quarters of it returned to its rightful owner, in the latest example of Japan's startling honesty. -- PHOTO: EPA
Tokyo residents handed in 3.34 billion yen (S$38 million) in lost cash last year, the police said on Monday, Feb 16, 2015, with three quarters of it returned to its rightful owner, in the latest example of Japan's startling honesty. -- PHOTO: EPA

TOKYO (AFP) - Trustworthy Tokyo residents handed in 3.34 billion yen (S$38 million) in lost cash last year, the police said on 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 (S$210,000) - 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 hold-all 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.