The government decided at a cabinet meeting on Friday to honor a woman who died when she went onto a railway crossing to save an elderly man who had fallen down on the tracks.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that a letter of appreciation and a medal from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be presented to the family of Natsue Murata, 40, for her sacrifice in helping a 74-year-old man who had fallen on the railway crossing between Nakayama and Kamoi stations on the JR Yokohama line at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
Witnesses said the man stumbled and fell on the tracks as he was walking on the crossing. After the barriers came down, Murata, who was waiting at the crossing in a car being driven by her father, got out of the car and rushed onto the tracks to help the man, even though her father told her there wasn't enough time. As she helped the man up, she was hit by an oncoming train.
Police said Murata died at the scene while the man was taken to hospital with head and back injuries. He has told police he doesn't remember anything about the accident, Fuji TV reported.
Suga said that Murata gave her life without any consideration for her own safety and said he hoped her selfless act would be etched in the people's hearts and minds, Fuji TV reported.
Suga will present the letter on Abe's behalf to Murata's family on Tuesday, since the prime minister will be in Bali attending the APEC summit.
The National Police Agency (NPA) said Friday that it, too, will present a letter of commendation to Murata's family.
Since the accident, there has been a steady stream of visitors leaving flowers at the site each day.© Japan Today