Japanese Quake Survivors Have Returned $78 Million in Lost Cash

It's now time for a story that restores your faith in mankind, even if it means going all the way to Japan to find it: In the five months since that country's devastating quake and tsunami, almost $78 million in cash has been found amongst the wreckage and turned in.

The money was recovered from countless abandoned wallets and purses, as well as from 5,700 safes that have washed up along the coastline. One safe alone was said to contain $1 million. But what were these coastal villagers doing sitting on so much cash in the first place? From the Daily Mail:

It is not unusual for the Japanese to keep large amounts of money at home and at offices, particularly in the coastal regions where fisheries companies prefer to deal with cash transactions.

Police have hired specialists to cut open the safes, and their rightful owners are being contacted based on the personal information contained inside.

'The fact that these safes were washed away, meant the homes were washed away too,' [said Koetsu Saiki, of the Miyagi Prefectural Police.] 'We had to first determine if the owners were alive, then find where they had evacuated to.' [...]

'[T]he fact that a hefty 2.3 billion yen in cash has been returned to its owners shows the high level of ethical awareness in the Japanese people,' said Ryuji Ito, professor emeritus at Yokohama City University.

Take that and a dose of Anderson Cooper giggles, and you should feel better by morning. [Daily Mail, photo via AP]