Japan Data

Nearly Half of Cash Reported Lost in Tokyo Handed in to Police


In 2018, a record ¥3.8 billion in lost cash was returned to Tokyo police stations.

A total of ¥3.8 billion in lost cash was handed in to Tokyo police during 2018, a 2.4% year-on-year increase and the third-straight record high. During the same year, ¥8.4 billion in cash was reported lost to the city’s police. Dividing one by the other shows that 45.7% of the total reported missing cash was picked up and returned. This statistic runs counter to the common image of Tokyo as a city where people go about their business without much concern for others.

The number of found items including cash that were handed in to the Metropolitan Police Department rose year-on-year by 4.6% in 2018, to the new record of 4.1 million items. The most common type of items returned were ID documents such as driver’s licenses and health-insurance cards or credit cards, which totaled 752,000 items; followed by around 552,000 items of financial value, such as commuter passes or other smart cards.

For essential personal items like identification cards or cellphones, the number of lost-property reports exceeded the number of items reported handed to police in 2018. Relatively few lost-property reports were submitted for other items, perhaps because the owners had little hope of recovering them. Notably, 343,725 umbrellas were handed in in 2018, but lost-property reports were only filed for 6,154 of them, which is less than 2%. Since plastic umbrellas can be cheaply bought at convenience stores, people are not too concerned about recovering a lost one.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Jiji.)