With the number of visitors to Japan rewriting record highs, Tokyo police are busy dealing with surging amounts of lost belongings for foreigners, Jiji Press has learned.
According to a tally by the Metropolitan Police Department, at least 55,000 lost articles were returned to their overseas owners in fiscal 2015, which ended last March. In the current fiscal year, the number of such items has increased 70 percent year on year.
It is not necessarily viewed as special for Japanese citizens to take lost property to police boxes, but people from abroad appear to marvel at the practice, welcoming it as part of Japanese “omotenashi” hospitality.
With few exceptions, foreign owners are delighted when their lost items are returned and are sometimes in tears, MPD officials said.
In one case, the MPD received an English email from a Taiwanese woman in February 2014 asking Tokyo police to look for the mobile phone she lost during her visit to Japan for sightseeing. As her phone was held in the department’s lost property center, an official followed standard procedures and sent the handset back to the woman by post.
Source: Yomiuri Image: Bank Image