The Japanese culture holds a deep respect for the property of others as described in this NY Times article. There are endless stories of valuable and not so valuable items being diligently turned in by the finders in the hope of finding the owner. All About Okoban (video)
In Japan, the center of this process is the “koban” or police box. Every major city and town has these mini-police stations located within each neighborhood.
In the Japanese language, using the letter “O” in front of a word is the same as showing respect. O-koban is our way of paying respect to this great Japanese institution.
Okoban reflects the spirit of the Japanese culture by offering a free global service that enables finders to return lost items to their owners. Owners register their valuables and rely on finders to log lost items at Okoban.com. This system has been adopted in more than 2,200 airports worldwide, more than 400 airlines as well as hundreds of “frequent finder” locations in hotels, train stations, car rental locations, and other spots of frequent travelers. What is the Meaning of OKOBAN? (Video)