Japan and China may be currently at odds, but acts of heroism will always be recognized and honored. Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave the Red Ribbon Medal of Honor to a Chinese tourist for his “courageous act” when he rescued a 9-year-old boy from drowning in Osaka last September. People hailed this as a “bright spot” in an otherwise tumultuous year between the two East Asian neighbours.
26-year-old Yan Jun from Shanghai was feted on Wednesday at the Prime Minister‘s residence where he was commended for his act of bravery and presented with the medal and a certificate that states, “The Emperor of Japan commends Yan Jun, of the People’s Republic of China, for rescuing another without regard to his own safety.” Yan said afterwards that he only did “what everyone in China would do.” The Fudan University graduate had already received commendations from Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto and Chinese ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua. He will be starting his PhD program in Osaka University this fall.
Both Chinese and Japanese netizens were all praises for Yan when he rescued the boy who fell into Osaka’s Yodo river last September 16 at the height of Typhoon Man-Yi. Yan jumped into the river, with little regard for his own safety witnesses say, swam 15 meters and brough the boy to shore. They were both treated for minor injuries at the hospital but immediately released afterwards. He posted on his micro blog on Sina Weibo about his experience, saying he was lucky to be alive. He received over 1,000 messages of support from his countrymen and effusive praise from Japan’s online community.
[ via New York Times ]