Lost Wallets in Japan

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.

Good to live in a city with bored police men.
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6 Comments on “Lost Wallets in Japan

  1. It's not a custom in Japan to return lost wallets. It's the law. If you do not turn a wallet in to the police, you can be arrested. Some people won't even pick up found wallets because they don't want the burden of dealing with the police or being suspected of taking it and keeping it.

    1. Hi Meg! thanks for visiting! Japanese people return the wallets to the Police and do not usually contact the owner directly. There is a chance it is still being processed in a police station somewhere if it has been found.

      Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!

  2. I just lost my wallet on my way to the grocery store and only realized it missing when i went to pay at the cashier. I went home in a panic because there were a lot of important stuff in there! and I called the police to report it missing. 2 and a half hours later I went to go check my mailbox and my wallet was there!!!!!! Someone had found it and made the effort to came to my apt building and drop it off. I wish I knew who it was so I can thank them!!
    I truely believe that my wallet was returned because I am in Japan. Back home in the States, I don't believe this would have happened.

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