Japanese Man Returns Almost $400,000 He Finds In Trash

Stories like these make headlines because they don't happen often enough, unless you're in Japan. This Japanese worker chose kindness over getting rich quick.


An employee of a waste collection facility turned in 42.5 million yen (approximately $380,000) in cash after discovering the money amidst a pile of garbage. 

The 63-year-old unidentified worker found the money on Tuesday in Numata, a city in central Japan, in the waste disposal plant where he works. He informed the police, and they are now in possession of the money as lost property. They are calling on anyone who believes the money is theirs to reach out, but they have not released further details into the discovery in order to prevent false claims.

Occurrences like these may be sadly lacking in much of the Western world, but they are far from unique in Japan. It was reported that people in Tokyo returned over $32.7 million in lost cash over the past year alone. The Telegraph reported that Tokyo police announced that 3.56 million lost items were handed in throughout 2014; in comparison, 122,930 missing items were turned in to London authorities.

Japanese culture is one of high moral standards, and people hold themselves and their communities to them. Honesty and respect for others is taught early on in many public schools, and children are raised to constantly think of how they affect others. This contributes to making Japan one of the safest countries in the world. 

Honesty is its own reward, but the Japanese government has put good karma into law. Anyone who finds and reports lost money is entitled to 5 to 20 percent of the total if the owner claims the cash. If the owner does not come forward, this upright Numata worker will get the entire amount and be set for a very cushy retirement.

Banner and thumbnail credit: Flickr user Mace Ojala


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