Japan postman 'could not be bothered' to deliver 24,000 items

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image captionReports say the man has been hiding post at his house since 2003

Japanese police have announced an investigation into a former postman who kept tens of thousands of undelivered items at his home.

Authorities found about 24,000 pieces of mail at the man's house in Kanagawa, near Tokyo.

The unnamed 61-year-old reportedly said it was "too much bother to deliver them," and that he did not want to seem less able than his younger colleagues.

Yokohama's post office has apologised and promised to deliver all the post.

The branch - where the man worked as head of delivery, Kyodo News reports - became suspicious last year after an internal check. The man admitted to the allegation and was fired.

Authorities then lodged a criminal complaint with police, referring to about 1,000 missing deliveries between February 2017 and November last year.

Reports however suggest that the former postman has been keeping mail at his home since 2003.

If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail, or a fine of about 500,000 yen ($4,600; £3,500).

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media captionIn 2018, a postman was arrested in Italy after 570kg (1,100lb) of undelivered post was found in his garage

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