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This article examines the lost property regime of Japan, which has one of the most impressive reputations in the world for returning lost property to its rightful owner, and compares it with that of the United States. Folk legend attributes Japanese lost-and-found success to honesty and other-regarding preferences. In this article, I focus on another possible explanation: legal institutions that efficiently and predictably allocate and enforce possessory rights. These recognized, centuries-olddoi:10.2139/ssrn.316119 fatcat:i6tu3nh4z5at3nomampzq3hy6u