Byline: Associated Press
TOKYO (AP) — A fishing boat netted a bag packed with cash worth 11 million yen (around $145,000) off Japan’s northeastern coast — a catch probably swept away in the tsunami seven months ago.
A trawler pulled the bag with more than 1,000 notes — worth 10,000 yen each — from the bottom of the sea Oct. 8 near the city of Ofunato in the state of Iwate, city official Kou Ueno said. “We think it is related to the disaster, as no one is going to throw this kind of thing away on purpose,” Ueno told the Associated Press in a telephone interview Oct. 29.
While the find of a bag filled with this much cash is rare, safes and cash-filled envelopes have turned up and have been reported to authorities since a 9.0 magnitude earthquake set off a giant tsunami that left about 20,000 people dead or missing on Japan’s northeast coast in March.
If no one claims the cash in the latest find within six months, the money will be awarded to the finders — although a legal ruling may be necessary to determine whether the captain of the ship, the crew or the ship’s owner will be officially considered the true finder, Ueno said.
Some information about the bag and its contents are being kept secret to allow the city to determine whether anyone who comes forward with a claim is the rightful owner, he added.