It is often said that Japan is a “scavenger” society. Is this just a stereotype or is it a real social trend? Today we are going to find out.
However, although we had certain expectations, we were shocked by the high moral standards of Japanese society in general after reviewing the information.
In the “Order and 2 Year (2020) Crime White Paper” released by The Japanese Police Agency, it was announced that “finding lost and found items and handing them over to the police” and The latest data on “reporting lost items to the police” –
In 2019 (the first year of Ryoho), police stations across Japan received 19.7 billion yen in lost cash that Japanese people picked up and turned in or reported to the police.
How much money is that? It is roughly equivalent to 1.18 billion RMB.
In addition, Japanese people also turned in or reported 29.75 million lost items to the police.
Also, note an interesting movement. The same table.
“Found items” refers to the number of items found and handed over to the police. The “lost sessions” refers to the number of lost items reported to the police. As you can see, just like the trend marked by the red arrow – the number of found property handed over to the police by Japanese people has been rising, from 17.1 billion in 2015 to 19.7 billion in 2019 for cash, and from 26.71 million in 2015 to 29.75 million in 2019 for items.
Yet at the same Time, as marked by the blue arrows, there has actually been little change in how often Japanese people report things to the police after losing them – 37 billion in 2015, only 36.8 billion in 2019, and 12.49 million in 2015, only 12.59 million in 2019. Almost no change.
This shows that the increase in the number of Japanese who find their belongings and hand them over is not due to the fact that more and more people in Japan are losing things, or more frequently. We will continue to analyze the reasons for the high percentage of Japanese people who “find money and don’t give it away” below.
Let’s look at the data of Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
Here is the data on lost and found items in 2019, as published by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department
In 2019, Tokyo people found a total of 3.88 billion yen to the police, about 230 million yuan. The total number of lost and found items was 4.53 million. Both are up compared to 2018.
Compare that to the data on reported crime: the amount of cash reported as lost in Tokyo rose 0.4% over the year, yet the amount of money found and handed over to the police rose 1.2%, and the number of lost items reported as lost rose 0.5% over the year, yet the number of items found and handed over to the police rose 0.8%.
And what’s more interesting is yet to come.
Although 19.7 billion yen in cash and 29.75 million lost items were found in 2019, only 13.7 billion yen in cash and 11.06 million items were actually claimed by the owners. In other words, 6 billion yen in cash and 1,869 lost and found items were “abandoned” by their owners. In all of Japan, the amount of money found on the road and handed over to the police is more than the amount of money reported lost by the owner ……
In Tokyo, the number of lost and found items also far exceeds the number of reported lost and found items.
As for cash, the figures for Tokyo are not as “exaggerated” as those for the whole of Japan, but nearly half of the owners can find their lost money at the police station. –So…
So, whether you look at the data for the whole of Japan, or the data for Tokyo, which is said to be the least traditional Japanese image and the “most indifferent”, it confirms the fact that is that the chances of Japanese people picking up money are very high, and getting higher every year ……
So, in most cases, you don’t have to worry too much about losing your belongings in Japan, you just need to ask at the last supermarket or restaurant you visited, the bus or subway or the nearby police station, and you will almost always find it. (Instead, many people lose it and don’t want it, others pick it up and then can’t find the owner ……)
Even, if you are even too lazy to run, ask are too lazy to ask, then you can check the Internet. The Japanese police department has been networked nationwide, and almost all lost property that has been reported within the validity period can be searched.
Let’s take the Tokyo Metropolitan Lost Property Search website as an example –
The first step is to select what you have lost, and there are 26 options in total, which are very detailed.
Next, select the time period you lost the item, noting that you can only select within the past three months. Let’s choose January 4 to March 4.
Next, choose the occasion in which you lost the item. We’ll choose “on the road or in a building”.
Then, choose the approximate location where you lost it. We chose “Shibuya-ku”, where there are many young people.
The results are as follows. Using the above criteria, we found 6 cell phones lost on the road in Shibuya-ku.
Four of them were iPhones, one was an unknown brand of smartphone, and one was an old-fashioned phone. If you think which phone is the one you lost, it’s easy to call the appropriate number directly and report the number to check.
Using almost the same criteria, we searched for “cash lost on the road in Shinjuku Ward in the last two months”. The result was 1,700 cases of cash found ……
This is the number of “wallets lost on trains, subways and trains in the last two months”, 947 in total
This is “rings lost on the ground in the port area in the last two months”, 57 in total
Many of these items were not wanted in the end.
According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Japanese people lost “valuable securities”, “clothes and shoes”, and “clothes and shoes”. “clothes and shoes”, “umbrellas “handbag “Household appliances”, “precious metals “, “camera”, basically do not report and do not look for … …which led to the near explosion of the police warehouse ……
Here, it is important to mention a concept that has existed in Japan for a long time: rewarding those who report the public after finding lost and found items.
In the Edo period, in addition to the principle of “return of lost property to the original owner”, the Japanese government also established the principle of paying 1/10th of the reward to the finder, and 3 days later The Japanese government also established that the owner of the lost property should pay the finder 1/10th of the reward and that the found property should be returned to the finder after 3 days without the owner. This coincides with the way lost and found items are handled in Japan today, and is also clearly stated in the Lost and Found Rules established in 1876.
From 1881, the city of Tokyo began to centralize the management of lost and found items. Police officers sat on horse-drawn carriages to collect lost items from the city and centralized them at Iidabashi. And to this day, it has been turned into a huge warehouse – the
The current “Lost and Found Law” in Japan stipulates that if a lost item is found and handed over to the police, it has only a three-month storage period (because there is too much storage in the warehouse), and if no one claims it for more than three months and it does not belong to personal items such as identity documents or cell phones or contraband, the item is given to the person who found it at the time. (If even the person who found it does not want it, it goes to the government)
If the lost property is found at the police station within 3 months, the owner must give the person who found it at the time a thank you gift within one month. The law states that this gift should be within 5% to 20% of the price of the lost property.
Japan’s convenient and dense police stations (jiaofan) provide a convenient way for ordinary people to hand over their lost property, and the law protects the benefits of not finding money, and provides an incentive for people to find property and not keep it for themselves, but to help the owner and make themselves famous and profitable. (The picture above, for example, if you find securities in Tokyo handbag precious metal camera or something, basically 3 months later will be yours ……)
This has led to the fact that the crime of “embezzling” lost items in Japan has been declining rapidly, and in 2019, all over Japan The number of crimes of “embezzlement” of other people’s belongings (including lost items) is only 17,000.
In 2018, the Cabinet Office conducted a survey on lost and found items, and there is an interesting set of figures.
21% of Japanese people think that “even if you don’t get a reward, you will hand in lost and found items, so it’s okay to not have a system that rewards the finder”, while 4.4% of Japanese people think that “this system leads to the loss of lost and found items. 4.4% of Japanese people think that “this system makes it too much trouble for the finder to communicate with the owner, so there is no need for a reward…”. …
In 2019, an international organization conducted a large social experiment in 40 countries around the world, testing the reaction of locals who found a wallet containing contact information, keys, business cards and the equivalent of $13 in local cash when it was dropped on the road. Unfortunately, this experiment was not taken to Japan.
The best performers in this experiment were the Nordic countries, where even 80% of the people who found it would turn it in or report it –
In short, who doesn’t want to live in a country where you don’t have to worry too much about losing something and have a high chance of getting it back?