Japanese Trash Site Yields $120,000 in Cash

The Japanese have long had a reputation for honesty, especially when it comes to returning things lost and found.

An employee of a waste disposal site in the Hiroshima Prefecture is making sure that reputation stays intact, after finding and reporting $120,000 cash mixed in with a pile of trash.

The stash was discovered Tuesday evening, as the worker in Asaminami was monitoring large pieces of trash being moved along a conveyor belt, according to broadcaster NHK. Stacks of 10,000 yen ($120) bills totaling roughly $120,000 were spotted, and reported to police. Officials say, they later found 2,300 pieces of bills, torn up into fragments by a machine processing bulky items like furniture.

Stashing large amounts of cash isn't a unique problem in Japan, where many people prefer to keep their money at home and when banks pay little to no interest on deposits. In fact, hundreds of safes containing significant amounts of money were discovered amid the debris washed away in the tsunami last year. Police tracked down the owners, and returned more than $70 million in cash.

Just last month, Hiroshima police say they found $71,000 left near an apartment complex.

Officers tell NHK they don't believe the latest stash is connected to any crime, and they're trying to track down the owner. If nobody comes forward within three months, the trash site will have the right to claim the cash.

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