Every time I’m getting off a train in Japan, before I step out onto the platform I pat my pockets and make sure I still have my keys, my phone, and my wallet. There are two reasons why I do this. First, leaving something on a train isn’t like leaving something in a restaurant. You can’t just go back and pick it up, because by the time you notice it’s missing, the train will be gone. But second, and just as important, is that in Japan cash is king, and so I’ve usually got enough money on me that it’d hurt to lose it.
Because of that, I always go through the pocket-patting routine, and I’m just a regular dude. So I can’t imagine how one passenger on the Japan Railway Yamanote line in Tokyo managed to forget his wallet, which had 2.8 million yen in cash in it when he hopped off the train at his destination.
The incident took place in early July, but fortunately for the owner, his wallet was found by a JR employee when the train came off the line and into a depot in the Kami Ikebukuro neighborhood to be cleaned. Unfortunately for the owner, though, rather than turning in the wallet, Hajime Ogura, the 64-year-old cleaning staff member who found it, decided to pocket the money for himself.
But while the wallet had amazingly avoided detection while the train was in service, JR security cameras caught Ogura in the act, and he’s since been arrested for theft of lost property. Ogura has admitted to the charges, saying he planned to use the money for living expenses and to pay off debt.
As for why the wallet’s owner, a man in his 30s, was carrying around so much cash, he says he needed it to pay part-time workers at his company, who were being given their compensation directly in cash. Considering that the largest denomination bill in Japan is 10,000 yen, that means he was lugging around at least 280 bills, so it’s pretty impressive that he was able to fit them all into his wallet, but maybe in the future a large-size envelope, lockbox, or something else that demands a bit more of his mental attention would be the wiser choice.
Source: FNN Prime via Niconico News via Jin
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