Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lost and Found in Japan: An Insider's Tip

A LOST WALLET

Lost and Found:


My teenage son and I once found a wallet in a parking lot in Okinawa, Japan. It contained a young Japanese girl's ID and money, so we did the right thing. We took it to the local police station.

Every policeman in the station counted the amount of money in the wallet and made me watch to confirm that it was the correct amount before putting it back inside.

The shift changed at the police station while we were there so, of course, the counting and verifying of every piece of change had to be done by every cop in the station, again. They'd write down the quantity and amount of each coin and bill, have me initial each column on the form and watch as they placed each item back in the wallet. Then, I'd sign my full name and they'd stamp the forms with their red-inked stamps.

Once they were done, I was told I could get anywhere from 5 to 20% reward, and if the wallet wasn't reclaimed in 120 days, all the money would be mine. The entire process took three hours, I didn’t want any reward, I just wanted to go home.

Now, I know why nobody in Japan likes to turn lost and found items into the police!

Luckily, the girl was contacted and showed up to get her wallet the next day.

The wallet in the photo was probably dropped by someone fishing from the seawall. Whoever found it did the smart thing; placed it where the wind or waves wouldn’t take it away. It sat there for a week. I know because I walk that beach every morning. I’m positive the wallet got back to its owner. More than likely, no police were involved !

There's something to be said for the integrity and honesty of the folks on the Ryukyu Islands.

How are things of this nature handled in your neck of the woods?



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