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Business trends

Tourists' forgotten souvenirs pile up at Japanese hotels

Companies struggle with complicated process of returning goods overseas

Lost and found at a police station in Tokyo. More tourists means more forgotten and lost items to process.

TOKYO -- The number of tourists coming to Japan is still increasing, and that means more people losing items during their travel. From purses and wallets filled with foreign cash to smartphones, food and souvenirs, lost and forgotten items are creating headaches for hotels and police who are tasked with tracking down their owners.

More than 10 million items are left behind at hotels and other hospitality facilities every year, according to an estimate by one logistics company. Returning these items to their owners is a time-consuming and expensive process, so hotels are trying to figure out how to address the problem.

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