The Good People of Tokyo Handed Over $32.7 Million in Cash to Lost and Found Last Year

March 17, 2017, 8:16 AM UTC
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Lost your cash in Tokyo? Not to worry. It stands an excellent chance of being turned into the police by the Japanese capital’s uncommonly honest citizens.

Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department said it was given a staggering total of $32.7 million (3.7 billion yen) in lost cash last year, according to a Bloomberg report in the Japan Times.

The phenomenon is reflective of both the cash-dependent nature of Japan’s economy as well as Japanese culture, according to the report.

At $908 billion in 2015, Japan’s cash circulation equals to 19% of its GDP. Years of deflation in the past and the present lack of inflation means that risk of cash losing value in Japan is very low.

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Japanese culture and ethics education also help explain the high amount of cash returned to police, the report suggests. According to the report, Japanese children are taught to empathize with the owner of lost property, and kids turn in as little as a ¥10 ($0.08) coin to cops.

According to a Huffington Post report, Tokyo police has a sophisticated lost-and-found processing system, which handles roughly one in five lost objects in Japan.