The global economy's going to pot, Julius Malema is still allowed to say things in public and the Springboks are rubbish. But here, finally, is a story guaranteed to restore your faith in human nature. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The Japanese public have handed police almost R550 million in cash, gold and antiques they discovered in the earthquake debris, the Daily Mail reported today. Apparently the Japanese commonly keep vast amounts of cash in their homes and offices (perhaps bank charges are exorbitant), and as a result a lot of money was washed away in the wake of the earthquake and tsunamis in March.
As a result, people keep encountering cash-stuffed wallets in the mud, which they have promptly turned in to police, with total contents amounting to more than R330 million. The other R220 million has come from more than 5,700 safes which washed ashore along the coastline. One single safe contained the yen equivalent of R6.5 million. Gold bars have also been discovered. Almost all the wallets and safes have now been returned to their owners.
A Yokohama City University professor was quoted as saying that this all demonstrates “the high level of ethical awareness in the Japanese people”, although, of course, we don’t know how much money went unreturned. But it’s a feel-good story at a time when the Japanese need it – it’s estimated the total cost of rebuilding the country will amount to more than £187 billion, or R2.219 trillion. Compared to that, R550 million is sadly but a drop in the ocean. DM
Photo: A girl lights candles at an event to commemorate the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Kesennuma, north of Japan, August 12, 2011. The event was held on the eve of Japan’s annual Buddhist ceremony Obon that welcomes back the spirits of the dead. Obon begins on Saturday in Kesennuma where more than 1,400 people were dead or missing by the natural disaster in March. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
"Man is by nature a political animal" ~ Aristotle