Honest Japanese Return $78 Million in Cash Found in Earthquake Rubble

David Gardner, Daily Mail (London), August 17, 2011

Japanese citizens have shown incredible honesty in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that brought the country to its knees.

It emerged yesterday that the Japanese returned almost $78million in cash found in the quake rubble.

In the five months since the disaster struck, people have turned in thousands of wallets and purses found in the debris, containing nearly $30 million in cash.

More than 5,700 safes that washed ashore along the coastline have also been hauled to police stations by volunteers and rescue crews.

Inside the safes officials found about $30million in cash. In one safe alone, there was the equivalent of $1,000,000.

Other contained gold bars, antiques and other valuables.

Japan’s National Police Agency said nearly all the money found in the areas worst hit by the tsunami has been returned to its owners.

Most people kept bankbooks or land rights documents with their names and addresses in their safes.

At one point, there were so many safes handed in to police that they had difficulty finding room to store them.

Even now, Koetsu Saiki, of the Miyagi Prefectural Police, said a handful of safes are handed in every week.

It is not unusual for the Japanese to keep large amounts of money at home and at offices, particularly in the coastal regions where fisheries companies prefer to deal with cash transactions.

From early April to late July, Ofunato Police Station hired three safe specialists to help open the safes it had recovered.

‘In most cases, the keyholes on these safes were filled with mud,” said Mr Saiki.

‘We had to start by cutting apart the metal doors with grinders and other tools.

‘The fact that these safes were washed away, meant the homes were washed away too.

‘We had to first determine if the owners were alive, then find where they had evacuated to.’

‘There must be some safes that were stolen after the quake.

‘But the fact that a hefty 2.3 billion yen in cash has been returned to its owners shows the high level of ethical awareness in the Japanese people,’ said Ryuji Ito, professor emeritus at Yokohama City University.

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  • O’malley

    Wish we could say the same about Hurricane Katrina.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a bail bondsman. Earlier this year, I posted bail for a client who is half Japanese and half Chinese. He had been arrested after walking in on his girlfriend who was with another man; the “other” man beat my client up—and my client had no idea beforehand as to what he was about to walk in on. Ultimately, charges were never filed by the courts.

    In talking with my client, I mentioned that I might want to expand into the Asian market, specifically targeting the Japanese. His response was: Japanese? Don’t waste your time. Very, very little crime.

    This article confirms his advice.

  • rockman

    Like net floats Japanese safes float so beach combers keep your eyes open in the coming years.

  • White Guy In Japan

    That is civilization with a capital “C”!

    By the way, if you turn in cash found on the street to the police here, they write down your name and number and give the money to you if they can not find the rightful owner within 6 months.

    Also, many Japanese keep safes at home because the banks pay abysmally low interest.

  • Uncle Bob

    …and relatives cannot understand why I don’t want to return to the U.S……….

  • Anonymous

    This article is directed towards those in the West who are not Japanese, . Similar article includes ‘No looting in Japan.’

    These articles came about after hurricane, Katrina and the looting which followed. The intention is to be critical of those

    who misbehave during adisaster than it is to praise the Japanese though the author knows that some readers may believe the latter or would not dare take the chance ( to be critical of groups in the West).

    The ethical behavior of the Japanese after the the Earthquake is due to their culture since you are dealing with an ethnic group or else the author would be commending all citizens of North East Asia .

    The Japanese are said to have a kinship with each other unlike those in the West. Some attributed Japan continued economic problems to this as Companies in Japan are reluctant to lay off workers, even when they should, as they believe it would cause too much hardship .

    So while U.S. companies restructered in the 80s and had become more efficient, Japan continued to have life time employment which harmed its economy.

  • Cid Campeador

    Can you image what would happen here in one of our major Maumaupolitan centers?

    Look at the folks who suffered the major destruction by Irene. They’re not raping and looting. It’s only those who are afflicted by the Congenital Third World Mentality Syndrome CTWMS=(SITWIMIS?) who behave like that.

  • John Engelman

    One can talk about culture. I think genes are important in determining not only ability levels, but also character and personality. Having lived with Vietnamese war refugees, and known many Chinese and Korean immigrants, I am confident they would behave the same way in a similar situation.

    In the United States Orientals earn their reputation as “the ideal minority.”

  • Anonymous

    Easy explanation: there are very few blacks in Japan.

  • Anonymous

    It would be this way here if we kept things right.

    By the way, the Japanese still call their indigenous population “Monkey People.” The only difference between Japan and pre-BRA is the Japanese still aren’t ashamed to rank according to intelligence, morality, and ability.

  • Anonymous

    All would agree the sense of community and taking care of one’s neighbor is a cultural attribute. Why is it we in the US can only speak of positive attributes and not the negative ones that other cutlures have? Not all cultural attributes are equal weighted, and some are clearly anti-social. But to upon identifying a cultureal attribute as negative whould be condemed as “stereotyping”, although its not stereotyping if its a good thing like demonstrated Japanese honesty, or black athletic prowess.

    BTW, this article could also be written in the rural midwest where neighbors have a strong sense of group identity. Which is why the massive floods there in the last two years got so little press, and New Orleans with its mayhem got so much.

  • Anonymous

    9 — Anonymous wrote at 10:57 AM on August 30:

    “Easy explanation: there are very few blacks in Japan.”

    And those who are should be planed and deported.

    Our Mau Mau servicemen on Okinawa have done us proud. How many Japanese schoolgirls have been sexually assaulted there?

  • Anonymous

    This just shows what is possible in an almost 100% racially, ethnically, culturally, socially and linguistically homogeneous environment. But then I also think of all the rapes in Haiti after the earthquake and just about everybody there is black. So genetics also play a part too.

  • bob

    Many parts of the USA used to be the same decades ago. People were ashamed to collect welfare or any handouts at all.

  • John

    As a previous resident in Japan no surprise here,Although I had my small motorbike and bicycle stolen on different occasions,probably by young kids.The older generation

    still have a strong Buddhist/Confucian influenced code of ethics

    Considering the exemplary behaviour of Japanese earthquake/tsunami victims compared to Haitians in Haiti and blacks in New Orleans after those respective earthquakes it just goes to show how different races react so

    differently to disasters.In those very troubled times we have

    seen the best(and worst) brought out in people primarily depending on the race of those people affected.Case closed.

  • Michael C. Scott

    While I was working in Japan, my co-worker’s son’s bicycle was stolen.

    A few days later, it turned up right where he had left it. The “thief” had simply borrowed the bike, and then returned it.

    I couldn’t supress a chuckle, and my Japanese co-worker appreciated the humour, as he had done his graduate work in chemistry in Buffalo, NY. Just how many stolen bikes are voluntarily returned in Buffalo, I wonder.

  • Anonymous

    As stated in prior posts, look at the difference between Japan, compared to Haiti and New Orleans. The difference is Race, plain and simple. Blacks are born thieves, and are raised to steal, lie, and get away with as much as possible.

    Laws do not apply to Blacks, and ever since the UnCivil Rights movement, White Police Officers, Judges, and Corrections Facicilities cannot do the proper job of stopping, Judging, and Punishing these Criminals for their devastating acts against our Society.

    I wish our Society was 13% Japanese. We would not have the problems that we do with the untamable types.