Japanese postman hoarded 24,000 mail items because it was 'too much bother' to deliver them

Ben Turner
Japan Post, the government-owned mail service, said it would try to ensure every item of mail eventually reached its destination  - Bloomberg

A postman who allegedly hoarded 24,000 mail items at his home because delivering them was “too much bother” has been accused of violating postal law in Japan.

The 61-year-old courier had apparently been stockpiling the undelivered post since 2003 in his Kanagawa home, near Tokyo.

The postman reportedly told police: “It was too much bother to deliver them. I didn't want my colleagues to think I was less capable than younger people.”

The man, who has not been named, was fired last year by the Yokohama branch of Japan Post after an internal investigation revealed the hidden mail. 

Japan Post, the government-owned mail service, apologised for the incident and said that all the recovered post will make it to its intended destination.

A spokesman for Japan Post said: “We discovered them late as the cache was at his home, which is beyond the confines of an internal inspection. 

“We’ll have talks with the police on the undelivered items and offer apologies to the senders and receivers as we deliver them.”

Criminal charges were submitted against the man on January 14 to the Kanagawa Prefectural Police, relating specifically to 1,002 deliveries the man apparently hid in his home and elsewhere between February 2017 and November 2019. 

If convicted, the man could face prison time of less than three years or fines of up to 500,000 yen (£3,490).

In 2018, a 33-year-old Italian postman was arrested when police discovered 400kg of undelivered mail in his home. 

The stash was uncovered after a routine police road-stop found 70 letters on the backseat of the man’s car, who reportedly told police: “I wasn’t paid enough and so, I quit."