30 September 2011
A mysterious donor has left more than US$130,000 in a toilet in a Japanese city hall. Written instructions said the money should be used to help victims of March's earthquake and tsunami.
Click to hear the report:
The money was found in a plastic shopping bag, in a public toilet of the City Hall in Sakado, part of the commuter sprawl that surrounds Tokyo.
There was 10 million yen, wrapped up in neat bundles of notes, the equivalent of more than US$130,000.
A handwritten message had been left with the cash and read: "I am all alone. Please let the people of Tohoku use it."
Tohoku is the northern region of Japan hit by the earthquake and tsunami in March.
City officials said the anonymous donor has slipped in and out unnoticed. If the money is not reclaimed within three months, they're planning to give it to the Japanese Red Cross.
Japan's great disaster brought out striking generosity and honesty in its people.
The equivalent of US$50 million in cash picked up in the disaster zone has been turned in to the police. Another US$30 million dollars was recovered from safes found amid the rubble.
Roland Buerk, BBC News
Click to hear the vocabulary:
- the commuter sprawl
the large and growing suburbs of a city from which people travel to work
- wrapped up
folded and arranged neatly
- bundles of notes
an amount of paper money tied up together in blocks
- the anonymous donor
the unidentified person who left the gift
- slipped in
entered a room quietly
asked to be returned to the person to whom it belongs
- turned in
has been taken to the police to be looked after
found and collected
box made of reinforced metal to store valuables