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The amazing honesty of the Japanese

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 30, 2005
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28,962
Partial Snip:

Reporting from Tokyo and Seoul— The unmarked envelope floated into the living room of the home in northeastern Japan, riding the wave of tsunami floodwaters.
Inside, the astounded resident found $40,000 in yen notes.

More money has been found in wallets, paper bags, and other containers swept away from their owners and scattered across a landscape ripped apart by the March 11 earthquake.
One woman found $26,000 in a purse she had spotted atop a pile of debris.
One police locksmith opened the heavy door of a recovered safe to find $1.3 million in yen notes.

What followed is a testament to a culture of honesty and altruism: The Japanese have turned over more than $48 million in loose cash to authorities.

The full story: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-japan-returned-money-20110923,0,647353.story
 

iheartscience

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Jan 1, 2007
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On one of my dad's visits to Japan he left a very expensive camera on the subway. He went back to the stop he got off at and waited for the same train to come around, and sure enough, someone had given it to the conductor. It would have been long gone in the U.S.!
 

HopeDream

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Mar 14, 2009
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2,146
Even Japanese have somewhat of a code of honour!

In Japan, my friend had his wallet pick-pocketed while he was passed-out drunk on the train, and the thieves simply removed the cash and turned the wallet in to the lost property office. It was such a relief, as replacing all his lost identiy cards, credit cards etc. would have been a real hassel.

In Canada the wallet would have been sold for identity theft, thrown out, or maybe put in a postbox if lucky.
 

JewelFreak

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Sep 3, 2009
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The Japanese are in general scrupulously honest. I spent a great deal of time there, going for 2-wk trips several times a year for 9 years, usually traveling only w/Japanese.

We would park the car on a busy Tokyo street & go to dinner, leaving briefcases in plain view on the seat. Gave me automatic willies. I asked once if anyone ever broke into cars & they laughed. "It would be a newspaper headline if anyone did," they declared.

On the bullet train I found an English copy of Newsweek in the pocket of my train seat. It had an article I wanted to refer to later, so I started to put the magazine in my attache case -- and had it grabbed from my hand by my Japanese colleague & returned w/disapproval to its seat pocket. Yow.

No one ever jaywalks, drove me crazy! With not a car to be seen in any direction, people wait on the sidewalk for the WALK light to turn green. Dead silent at 2 a.m. & we're waiting for it to be legal to cross the street.

Since I hate to pay their high prices, I never use hotel-room minibars. I took a small bottle of bourbon on one trip to Tokyo & didn't bother to take it along when I went on to Osaka. 2 weeks later I returned to the Tokyo hotel & when I checked in, they handed me my half-full bottle. I gawped in amazement.

--- Laurie
 

sillyberry

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Jul 28, 2009
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I went to Japan in 2007; here are two snippets from my travel blog:

(From my time in Shibuya): Then outside to the crazy intersection. One thing I noticed about Japan is that there is very little jaywalking. Everyone patiently waits and then all traffic starts and the people move and it is a total zoo. Pretty neat to watch.

Shinjuku is really crazy, full of lights and people and naughty shops and whatnot. I felt the lure of the grabby game where I proceeded to lose way too much money trying to win cheap toys. Here was one of the nicest moments in Japan, though...I changed a 5000 yen bill (a little under $50) and grabbed the coins. I played my games (unsuccessfully) and left. After walking for a bit I stopped suddenly - I had only grabbed 1000 yen worth of coins and left 4000 yen in bills. Doh. I run back, freaking out, and the woman there and I awkwardly communicate until she realizes I left my money. She calls the manager and he comes over and hands me 4000 yen and I am happy and relieved and feeling very appreciative someone didn't steal it!

Japan was remarkable.

Since I like happy stories, though, a few months ago I lost my wallet. I thought I had left it in the Chicago airport, but by the time I realized it was gone the airport was shutdown. None of my cards had been used though. The next morning I woke up to a Facebook message from the person who found my wallet (I had left it on a bench waiting for the shuttle to drive me to remote parking) and tracked me down. She got flowers. :))
 

Cehrabehra

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Jun 29, 2006
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11,071
It's wonderful that the people have done this, but I can't help but wish the Japanese govt. was as honest about their nuclear issues. It makes it hard to trust them at all.

Also curious how some had such large wads of cash around...
 

iLander

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May 23, 2010
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We were on vacation in New York City, and DH woke up one day to find out his wallet was gone. Thinking back, he realized he had last used it at the store across the street. He went over, and the owner had wrapped it in rubber bands and put it in the safe. DH's wallet was returned, safe and sound. The owner was Asian.

Just adding my two cents . . .
 

JewelFreak

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Sep 3, 2009
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Cehrabehra|1316994793|3025440 said:
It's wonderful that the people have done this, but I can't help but wish the Japanese govt. was as honest about their nuclear issues. It makes it hard to trust them at all.
That is a conflict. While Japanese individuals are usually very honest, the gov't rarely is. And then releasing info in dribbles as forced to. There is also what we would consider quite a bit of corruption & collusion in business, behind the scenes. I think it's partly due -- especially w/the gov't -- to one party's having been in power so long; also to the Japanese cultural reluctance to make waves: people are less likely to blow whistles on bad guys.
 
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