En sag der har fået rimelig meget omtale de sidste dage, er afsløringen af at japanske bystyrer tjener penge ved at gennemgå kremerede menneskers aske for guld og andre metaller fra tandfyldninger og kunstige knogler. Guardian skriver:
Japanese cities are profiting from the sale of precious metals sifted from cremated ashes, it was revealed today, as the country attempts to cash in on a potentially huge "urban mine" of gold, silver and palladium.
Several cities, including Tokyo, have earned millions of yen from the sale of rare elements found in capped teeth and artificial bones, the Asahi newspaper said.
The Tokyo metropolitan government made 3.2m yen (£24,700) in 2007 from the sale of 700g (1.5lb) of gold, 500g of palladium and 1.9kg of silver retrieved from cremated remains.
The city earned 90,000 yen from coins placed in coffins before cremation, the report said.
One of Japan's biggest crematoriums, in the central city of Nagoya, collected 12kg of metals worth more than 10m yen.
The precious metals are being retrieved from ashes and bone fragments left behind after the family of the deceased have completed the ritual of packing some of the bones into an urn for burial.
Det er selvfølgelig fint nok, at den slags genbruges. Men det er lusket, at bystyret napper fortjenesten til sig selv, når det vel egentlig tilhører den afdødes arvinger. Dette forhold nævnes dog ikke i artiklen.