Teen post officer hides 400 New Year cards in Japanese snow

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Materials for preparing nengajo for Japanese New Year.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Japan Post apologized yesterday after an eighteen year old school student, employed part-time to deliver New Year postcards (known as nengajō), had instead discarded 430 of them along with 170 other postal documents in the snow.

The papers, letters, and postcards -- many hand-written -- were damaged as a result. He had also reportedly considered hiding the cards at his house or taking them to a vacant lot.

"Since there were too many and it seemed a tiresome [job] for me, I hid them", said the boy to his bosses at Obanazawa-city, Yamagata Prefecture Post Office, who enforced disciplinary penalties and said they will pursue legal charges.

The issue started on January 1st when dozens of local residents started complaining to the Obanazawa Post Office that they hadn't received their traditional and regular New Year cards. Yesterday, the post office released their apology to citizens and the media after discovering that the boy had hidden more than 600 postal documents, including 429 New Year postcards, which weren't delivered to their intended recipients.