This may be one of the most honest cities in the world. Book your tickets now | travel | Hindustan Times
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This may be one of the most honest cities in the world. Book your tickets now

In 2016, the Tokyo police were handed over more than $30 million worth of cash, and around three-quarters of that sum were handed over to the rightful owners.

travel Updated: Dec 28, 2017 09:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Japan,Travel,Honest city
The Japanese are known for their devotion to cash and returning lost property.(Shutterstock)

If you are looking for a destination for your next holiday, try Tokyo. Because it could be one of the most honest cities in the world. In 2016, the Tokyo police reported that their lost and found section handed over more than $30 million worth of cash and other goods. It included the usual lost keys and eyeglasses, along with millions of dollars of cash. Out of the recovered amount of 3.67 billion yen ($32 million), around three-quarters of the money eventually ended up with the rightful owners.

This is not a unique phenomenon, though. The Japanese are known for their devotion to cash and returning lost property. And holding cash does not pose a great risk in Japan as there is little crime or fear of getting robbed. The Japanese are also not too possessive about things, and often keep their iPhones on seats in eateries to mark their place as they go off to order. Merchants are also known to hold on to lost personal items in case the owners come searching for them.

One of the key factors responsible for this sort of behaviour is the Japanese people’s stress on morality: “Japanese schools offer classes for ethics and morality, and students learn to imagine the feelings of those who lost their own goods or money. It’s not rare to see kids bringing a 10-yen coin to a police office,” said Toshinari Nishioka, a former policeman, who is currently a professor at Kansai University of International Studies, to Bloomberg.

Japan also has a Lost Goods Law that states that anyone who finds money must give it to the police. By doing so, they can receive a reward ranging from 5% to 20% if the owner claims it — and the money in case no one claims it within three months. Is it any wonder then that people choose to behave well?

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First Published: Dec 28, 2017 09:21 IST