Japanese company officially bans employees from licking fingers when handling papers or money

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Yokohama-based cab company Sanwa Kotsu has an undeniable quirky, fun-loving side to it. This is, after all, the company that offers Tokyo-area taxi rides driven by ninja and “pretend-they’re-not-there” kabuki stagehands.

But Sanwa Kotsu is still a legitimate company, and a Japanese one. That means a commitment to sparkling customer service and proper business decorum, and so the company has recently installed a new employee policy regarding proper document-handling protocol. The company wants to be as transparent as possible regarding this change in worker regulations, and so it’s shared a photo of the memo that’s being circulated to its employees through the official Sanwa Kotsu Twitter account.

Screen Shot 2019-11-27 at 11.47.55.png
Photo: Twitter/@sanwa_taxi

The stern-looking memo reads:

November 22, 2019

To: All individuals affiliated with Sanwa Kotsu


From this point forward, the following actions are prohibited when handling any documents or papers:

The application to the fingertips of transparent liquids secreted by the salivary glands, oral muciparous glands, or elsewhere in the oral cavity to the fingertips prior to the repagination of paper documents or currency.

This policy is to be thoroughly communicated to all employees.

– Sanwa Kotsu Corp General Headquarters

Or, in simpler language: Sanwa Kotsu is officially prohibiting its office workers from licking their fingertips when leafing through papers, and also their drivers from licking their fingers before counting out the bills they give customers as change, on the grounds that it’s gross to make someone else indirectly touch your spit.

While Sanwa Kotsu hasn’t receive any direct complaints from customers regarding finger-licking, the company itself decided to officially codify the practice as nasty, and online commenters are already thanking them for it, reacting with:

“Such an elegant way of phrasing the new rule.”

“I wish my company would put out a notice like this.”

“And the library too.”

“There seriously are some taxi drivers who slobber all over their fingers before they give you your change. I haven’t encountered any Sanwa drivers who do that though.”

Oh, and while the new policy only specifically mentions paper-based items, we’re sure that in practice it’ll extend to the crossbows Sanwa Kotsu gives customers for its taxi cab archery promotion too.

Source: Twitter/@sanwa_taxi, IT Media

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Tokyo’s new pre-fixed taxi fare smartphone service reduces the guess work of travelling by cab

-- Luxurious Sleeping Beauty Taxi service awaits all princesses in Tokyo

-- Japan introduces new maternity taxi service in Tohoku to help pregnant women

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I always thought this gross

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And, that is one of the reasons why you never put money in your mouth. This is advice given to me by someone who worked in a women's prison.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I always thought this gross

I agree. I've often wondered what kind of disgusting people with disgusting habits have been handling my money before I get it in my wallet, but I've managed to overcome it. I'm quite happy to take your money off you if it helps.


That's kinda cryptic, but my guess is you can't clarify that comment without falling foul of the moderators.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Teachers lick fingers to hand out papers, too. Also gross. It's easy to wear a little rubber cap on the index or middle finger. Then handling money or papers without 'spitting' on them is easy. Cashless transactions are looking better all the time... .

7 ( +7 / -0 )


I remember that growing up. I always hated that. "Stop licking your fingers and giving me what you touch with it." It's even more disgusting with money. Money has exchanged hands with countless amounts of people. It has been through all types of situations and gone into many places. You don't want that in your mouth.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Even KFC employees?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And, that is one of the reasons why you never put money in your mouth.

Why would one ever do that?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It is a disgusting habit. Worked with someone years ago who licked every page as they turn it. Horrible.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bring in the plastic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am always surprised that people in Japan of all places do this! I have seen it done many times


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Their own fingers, or the customers'?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

OK, as long as they don't ban licking fingers when eating KFC.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

But does licking your finger cause more or fewer germs to be transferred to the paper? I've often heard that licking your fingers is bad because it transfers germs from finger to mouth. Does licking them not then remove some germs from your finger? I've also read that saliva has some anti-bacterial properties. (It can also contain germs, depending on your current state of health. But I'm wondering about the average situation.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I never did this with dirty filthy money but I stopped doing this with paper when in a movie I watched that was how they was killing people. The murderer put poison on the edge of the papers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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