Friday, June 23, 2017

Lost, But Not Taken

At the Japanese hospital/doctor's office, you pay each time you visit. They don't send a bill in the mail.  The good thing is that it doesn't cost very much, so you are able to pay each visit.  At my hospital, there is a woman behind a counter, or you can pay at one of the three machines.  I usually pay at one of the machines.  One day, I paid with a 10,000 yen note.  I took my hospital ID card, my receipt and the coin change, but walked away without my paper change.  I didn't realize it until later in the day when I opened my wallet to pay for something else.  So, I walked back to the hospital and told the woman at the counter (in my best Japanese) that I had left behind my money.  She brought out a man in a suit who asked me the amount and which machine. He gave me an envelope with the money!  In the US, I'm sure the next person who used the machine would have taken my money, but in Japan no one takes things.  

I read an article on Japan Today that said 3.6 billion yen in cash was reported as lost property in Tokyo in 2016.  That is the equivalent of 10 million yen being found every day, according to the Tokyo Police Department.  Of that total, 2.7 billion yen, or about 74% was returned to owners.  

The number of overall lost property cases, including cash and other items, came to 3.83 million last year. Identification items, such as driver's licenses, and credit cards accounted for about 626,000 cases. Security-related and other items, including IC transportation cards, came in at about 481,000, followed by clothing items such as gloves and scarves at about 455,000.  If the owner is not identified within three months, lost property is given to the finders.  If not claimed by the finder, cash and proceeds from the sale of goods go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.  

What is the Lost and Found situation where you live? Are people elsewhere as honest as those in Japan?


  1. Hi Pamela ,wow thats interesting and i am so glad you got your money back xx

  2. I am not sure the same would happen here, so good to hear you got your money back. I found $15 in a local park where we used to live and took it to the police station, the attending officer was amazed I had taken it in and not just pocketed it. He tried to talk me into keeping the money as it was less paper work for him!! He ended up recording it and we decided to donate it to the Bkue Ribbon appeal if it was unclaimed.

  3. These are interesting statistics. I don't know if most people in the USA would take that money, or turn it into the counter. I can certainly say that I would take it to the counter. This is only one example of what I have done. I once found a Bank envelope with dollars and change in it, like the ones given here from banks. It also had a receipt in it. I took it to a branch of the bank and asked if they could contact the owner.

    Now, for an example of the dishonesty that goes on here. My SIL was at the cemetery at my FIL's grave. Her truck was not farther than 10 feet from his grave. She left a door open to the truck (on the side she was working) and her purse in the car. There was a man at a grave on the other side of her truck. When she went back to the truck, her purse was gone. I could not believe it happened at the cemetery.
    xx, Carol

  4. That is very interesting. I think in North America people just assume that the money is lost, but you never know some good Samaritan might have given it to the lost and found. We just never know because we never bother going back to check.

  5. While traveling in the US I once forgot my wallet with money and credit card inside on the counter underneath a telephone which I had used. Only two hours later I realized it. We drove back and the wallet still was there with everything inside. Quite obviously no-one had used the telephone since I had left. I don't know what would have happened if someone had used it.

  6. I don't have much experience with Lost and Founds, but I wouldn't trust people in general to return money when found. There are exceptions, though - just a while back a story was in the news about a group of teens returning some 10.000€ they found on the street!