The government is considering presenting a Chinese student with a letter of commendation for his bravery in rescuing a boy from a river swollen by a typhoon in Osaka in September, an aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday.
Abe is expected to invite Yan Jun to the prime minister’s office in November and hand the letter to him, the aide said. The move is apparently aimed at improving Japan-China relations strained by a dispute over a group of islets in the East China Sea.
On Sept. 16, Yan was jogging when he found a 9-year-old boy struggling in the Yodo River and jumped in to save him. Overwhelmed by the fierce current, he retreated to the river bank and ran 350 meters downstream, before diving in again and pulling the boy ashore.
He received similar letters of appreciation from Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and prefectural police.
In October, the government sent a letter of appreciation from Abe to the family of Natsue Murata, 40, who was fatally hit by a train while rescuing an elderly man at a railway crossing in Yokohama.