by Ewa Nowogorski
Japan has really nice lost-and found systems in train stations and airports. And they are also so successful because Japanese people are mostly honorable and will rarely take the opportunity to take something that has been left unattended for themselves.
One shocking thing that I never see in other places is the makeshift lost-and-founds that exist all over the city on the roads and in parks, not just in major hubs. It’s common to bring lost items of high value such as wallets and expensive looking watches to the closest police box, but it might be too much trouble to do the same for less valuable items such as hats, toys, jackets, umbrellas, etc. So instead of taking something that probably won’t be missed anyways to a designated lost and found location, items that have been found will most likely be left in the same area that they were found in. And instead of just leaving it as it is, some people will move the item to a more visible location, such as the top of a fence or a bench.
If you see any unattended articles in such a location, it’s very likely that someone moved that item there after finding it. This is done in the hope that the original owner will pass by again one day, hopefully in the near future, and retrieve their lost item. This system works so well because Japanese people don’t care to even steal your wallet, so they would never think of taking something like a hat home to keep for themselves. It really is honorable, and a good system. Although it would definitely never work in America.