Japan Data

Record ¥3.9 Billion in Lost Cash Handed in to Tokyo Police Stations in 2019


In 2019, ¥3.9 billion in lost cash was handed in to Tokyo police stations.

The Metropolitan Police Department reports that 4.2 million lost items were handed into police stations in Tokyo in 2019, up 0.3% year on year. This included ¥3.9 billion in cash, which was a 1.2% increase over the same period.

It was the fourth consecutive year the amount of cash handed in rose and was the highest figure on record. Cash reported lost amounted to ¥8.4 billion, meaning that 46.0% of lost cash was handed into the police. In 2018, this amount was 45.7%. The city may come across as cold and unfeeling, but it seems that many people do the right thing.

There was also a rise in the number of lost and misplaced items handed into the police; the total of 4.5 million items was a 0.8% increase from 2018. Looking at the most common type of items handed in, 770,000 (17.1% of the total) were ID documents such as driving licenses and credit cards. This was followed by 560,000 items of financial value, like smart cards, commuter passes, and gift certificates (12.3%); 491,000 items of clothing and footwear (10.8%); 372,000 wallets (8.2%); and 349,000 umbrellas (7.7%).

Half of Lost Mobile Phones Returned to Owners

People lost or misplaced 248,000 cellphones in Tokyo in 2019, which works out at nearly 670 a day. Of those, 153,000 were handed into the police and 126,000 eventually returned to their owners.

According to the National Police Agency, if items have not been claimed after three months by the original owner, ownership transfers to the finder. However, after a further two months, if the finder does not claim the item, ownership passes to the prefecture.

A study of found items that had been processed shows that of the ¥3.9 billion in cash handed in to Tokyo police stations, ¥2.8 billion was returned to the owner, ¥540 million went to finders, and ¥492 million reverted to the prefecture.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: © Makaron/Pixta.)