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mountainpete via Flickr/Creative Commons

No toilet paper? Call the police. Vending machine took your money? Call the police.

These events actually happened in Japan.

A QUARTER OF all urgent calls to Japanese police last year were not emergencies, including one in which the caller asked for help removing an insect from their ear.

More than 2 million of those who dialled 110 — Japan’s emergency police number — were calling with requests for assistance in less-than dire situations, a survey by the National Police Agency has shown.

They included a report that a vending machine had not coughed up the right change, a blocked toilet at home and someone having trouble recalling a forgotten smartphone password.

In another case, someone rang police to report the toilet paper had run out in a public toilet.

There was also record of one person calling for a police cruiser to be dispatched so it could clear a path through traffic so they could bring their child to hospital.

Jiji Press, citing agency figures, said Sunday that frivolous calls in 2014 were down slightly on the year before, but still accounted for more than 24 percent of the over 8.5 million that police received.

- © AFP, 2014

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