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Japanese Visitor Has Lost Money Returned

July 22, 1988

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) _ Kunitoyo Kawachi seems to find honest Americans whenever he visits the United States from Osaka, Japan.

Kawachi lost $1,080 this week while pedaling his bike here. In 1974, he lost $4,000 in Los Angeles. Both times the money was returned.

The airplane enthusiast was riding a bicycle after renewing his membership at the Experimental Aircraft Association Tuesday when he lost his wallet.

The money, intially reported at $800, was Kawachi’s spending money for the EAA convention, which starts later this month. Kawachi has attended the convention for 15 years.

An Oshkosh City Cab driver, Mark Framnes, said he saw money blowing out of a wallet in the middle of a road while he was driving at about noon Tuesday.

″First I thought, Las Vegas, I’ve hit the jackpot, especially with all that money,″ Framnes said. ″But I’m very honest and my conscience wouldn’t let me keep the money.″

Framnes ran around a nearby field and collected any bills that had escaped.

″I counted it and I just couldn’t believe it. I was shaking,″ Framnes said.

He called the cab dispatcher to report what he had found. Then he took the money to his safe deposit box for storing until the owner could be located.

A cab company employee noticed an article about the money in the Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper on Wednesday and called the paper to make arrangements for reuniting Kawachi and his cash.

Kawachi expressed his thanks through interpreter Penny Elwing, and promised to send a wedding present to Framnes when he marries in the spring.

″I am so grateful, and so thankful,″ Kawachi said. ″He (Framnes) is ... so honest.″

Elwing said Kawachi hadn’t given his money up for lost, since more than twice the amount was returned in California 14 years before.

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