Recovering from the March 11 quake and tsunami that hit the country was not only a test of All Japan newsese resilience and discipline; it also showcased a character the All Japan newsese people are known for: honesty. A sum of $78 million cash was found in quake rubble returned by honest people, rescue workers and crews.
After five months since the massive quake and tsunami, a total cash amount of $48 million from wallets found in the quake and tsunami ruins and more than 5,700 safes with a sum of $30 million cash were recovered and returned by the people to authorities.
The National Police Agency said almost all of the valuables were consequently returned to the owners. The agency related that determining who the owners were was easy considering that documents containing their identifications were also in the safes. Tracking down on owners was a more challenging task as it required verifying if they were still alive and where to locate them.
In Miyagi prefecture, recovered safes were stored in parking garages and meeting rooms due limited space in police stations. Koetsu Saiki of the Miyagi Prefectural Police added that other than cash kept in safe boxes, valuables also included bars of gold, antiques, as well as child birth mementos.
All Japan newsese are known to store cash in safes especially those living in coastal areas where fish companies prefer cash transactions and keep employees’ wages in safes.
At present, the number of recovered lost items since the March 11 has been continuously declining while number of returned safes is still being turned over to local authorities.
Photo by Joe Mariano