Saturday, December 16, 2017

Too Much Lost Stuff

In the US, if I lost something outside my home, I didn't expect I would get it back. There's a saying every child learns - "Finders keepers, losers weepers".  Not so in Japan.  If you drop something or leave something behind, it will often be right where you left it, or it will be turned in to the koban (police station).  People are very honest about things that do not belong to them.


Recently, the police have become overwhelmed with all of the things turned in.  According to the National Police Agency, the number of things turned in to the police jumped from 12.72 million in 2007, to 27.96 million in 2016.  In 2007, the previous Lost Property Act was replaced by a new law with the same name, allowing police to dispose of lost items after three months rather than the previous six months.   This is based on the fact that most people claim items within three months. In addition, cheap items like umbrellas could be sold off if no one claimed them in two weeks.  


Ted left his iPhone on the bus in Sapporo and it was turned in.  He was able to retrieve it the same day.  I forgot my panda hat on the bus in Sapporo and was very worried about getting it back, but it too was turned in to the bus station office and I got it back the same day.  


What is the situation where you live?  Is it the finders keepers rule or do you get it back, like in Japan?

8 comments:

  1. Hi Pamela thats very interesting no if you lost something here you would be very lucky to get it back its like the US here,thankyou for sharing xx

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  2. I live in New York. I think that probably says it; one must literally keep a hand on everything or it can just disappear. Despite this, I once left my purse, with my wallet inside, on a regional commuter train. I realized this as the train was pulling away. I felt so stupid, and I had to plead to get a return (free) ride back into the city. In the end it turned out that I had left it on my seat one stop before the end of the line. The conductor had found it and turned it in. Shock of shocks! However, the lovely red cap I left on the train never turned up. During my time in Japan it was great not to worry. (The only casual theft I ever heard about happened in an odd nightclub in Roppongi frequented by foreigners--the woman left her bag on a chair while dancing apparently--unusual though).

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  3. That is great to pretty much count on getting lost things back.
    Living in Japan has its perks.

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  4. Wow Pamela... I've never heard of such widespread respect for the possessions of others. I'm glad you were able to get your hat returned.
    Sadly here is Oz, such care is rare... there is plenty of honest people who turn in lost items they find, but most people never make an effort to retrieve their lost items, simply because they don't think they'll get it back!

    I recently found a ladies purse in a toilet cubicle in a shopping centre... turned it in to a nearby shop... they announced it over the public address system... they lady came forward immediately... and was very grateful for the intact return of her purse. She immediately showed her gratitude by taking me to a nearby cafe & buying us both some coffee & cake♥♥

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  5. It's sad that not everyone thinks "Don't take what doesn't belong to you". But it is good to know that somewhere in this world it is the norm.
    xx, Carol

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  6. Getting something back that you lost doesn't happen often over here. My son once forgot the bag with his new boots in the bus but noticed it half an hour later. We immediately called the bus company and they contacted their driver - but the bag was already gone. And was never brought to the lost property office. So I shouldn't say lost but stolen.

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  7. I live in Connecticut and would say that if you forget something on a bus that is of very little value, both monetarily and strategically (like your panda hat) you have a decent chance of it being with the driver or at the bus station the next day.
    If you forget your wallet or your phone I would be worried not only that I would lose all my money but that my identity would be stolen and completely compromised in the future. Credit identity is incredibly vulnerable and fragile in the United States these days, if the wrong person finds your wallet-you could be looking at years of inconvenience. Also, crooks are putting "skimmers" on gas pumps now that copy your credit card information, it's awful.

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  8. I think it's a bit mixed here. Officially, you are legally required to turn in anything you find to the lost property office, but I don't know how well it works - all the things I've lost, I either found back where I left it, or didn't bother going further for. There are often articles in the newspaper about people finding valuable things or even money and turning them in, though!

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