A taxi driver in Japan’s Hyogo prefecture received a commendation from local authorities for his intervention that prevented a young woman from attempting suicide at a dam site.
A trip to the dam: Masamune Higashino, 61, reportedly picked up a woman in her 20s from a JR station in the Kanzaki district on Oct. 13 and drove her to a dam within the same area.
The cab driver noted that while the woman initially expressed her fondness for dams, she displayed no excitement or interest in taking photos upon reaching the destination.
Subtle call for help: Higashino found her behavior unusual and decided not to leave her alone as he felt responsible as her sole means of transport. After spending around 15 minutes trying to engage her, he convinced her to let him drive her back to the station.
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Taking action: During the return trip, the woman tearfully confided in Higashino, expressing her intent to die at the dam. As he drove, he advised the woman about the sorrow it would cause her loved ones if she took her own life. He then made phone calls to the woman's family and counselors, ensuring she was safely handed over to the Fukusaki Police officers who arrived at the station.
Impact and recognition: On Oct. 31, the Fukusaki Police awarded Higashino with a commendation, acknowledging his role in averting a crisis, according to a report by Asahi. Fukusaki Police Chief Hiroki Takesako expressed gratitude for Higashino's act of kindness and credited him for his quick thinking in saving a precious life.
Higashino, while receiving the recognition, emphasized it was the police who escorted the woman back home while he simply conversed with her till then.
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If you or anyone you know is at risk of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support at 1-800-273-8255.
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