I always read about how honest the Japanese are in returning lost items, especially wallets so I was not worried when I misplaced my wallet one clumsy Sunday as I left my backpack’s zipper open. True enough, the very next day, Asawa got a call from the Police Station asking me to come over to pick it up.
In Japan, the custom when finding items is to forward it to the Police. Picking up a lost item at the Chuo Central Police Station was easy enough. You just go to Counter 1 (you will have to look for it at the right side as it is not immediately visible) and tell them the Control Number they mentioned to you when they contacted you. Then you just need to fill up a form with your name, address etc. Before me was a lady who picked up her lost umbrella. ( I thought that in my country, or most of the world, no one would bother with an umbrella.)
After I filled the form, they returned the wallet to me. The contents were all inside, except for the cash, but they were neatly arranged. I assume this is after they made an inventory of the contents, or when one bored Policeman decided to organize my messy wallet for me. The cash was not inside, but the lady at the counter gave it to me separately. There was one Y10,000 bill inside when I lost it, but she returned it to me in Y5,000 and Y1,000 bills! They were quite crispy too!
I am sure there is some reason for this. Perhaps, cash is transferred to a safer storage place, and simply replaced when the owner picks it up, but it just made me smile if this was a product of another act of generosity from the police who decided to treat me with crispy clean bills.