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Japanese police pay tribute to anonymous donor

The donor has been leaving envelopes of cash for needy people at a police station for over 33 years.

A Japanese police station paid tribute last week to an anonymous donor who has been handing in envelopes full of cash to give to the needy every month for more than 33 years.

The police station in Tochigi prefecture, located north of Tokyo, received the first envelope of cash in August 1974.

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That envelope contained 1,000 yen, or $9 at the current exchange rate.

It did not bear a sender's name but enclosed a piece of paper only saying: "Please use this for the unprivileged people."

The envelopes kept arriving punctually every month with the enclosed money gradually increasing to 3,000 yen, then 5,000 yen and eventually 8,000 yen, the police said.

The station received the 400th envelope on Tuesday. This latest donation takes the total amount donated to 1,744,000 yen, the police said.

The money had been given to the town's social welfare council, the police added.

"I just take my hat off for the act of continuing sending donations over three decades without expecting rewards," said station chief Taisuke Kimura.

"We will continue working for the safety of this town in return for this goodwill act," he said.