Japanese diplomatic missions in China fly flags at half-mast after woman's death

Japanese diplomatic missions in China have flown their flags at half-mast following the death of a Chinese woman who tried to stop an attacker in a knife-wielding incident involving a Japanese school bus in Suzhou, eastern China.

The Japanese Embassy in Beijing and the Japanese Consulate-General in Shanghai, which has jurisdiction over consular matters in the city in Jiangsu Province, did so on Friday after receiving news of the death of Hu Youping.

Hu was stabbed on Monday while trying to stop a man who began attacking people at a local bus stop after the school bus arrived. She was the bus attendant. Hu was in critical condition and received treatment at a hospital before her death.

The embassy posted a picture and a memorial comment in Chinese on its official Weibo account.

The comment expressed deep sadness over Hu's tragic passing despite rescue efforts. It said that she protected innocent women and children from the attacker with her own strength, and that the embassy believes her courage and kindness represent the spirit of the Chinese people.

The comment paid respect to her heroic act and wished her rest in peace.

Consul General Akamatsu Shuichi of Japan's Consulate-General in Shanghai issued a comment expressing condolences. He had visited Hu in the hospital the day after the attack.

Japan's Ambassador to China Kanasugi Kenji said that on behalf of the Japanese government and the Japanese people, he would like to express his deep respect for Hu's courageous act and offer heartfelt condolences.

Kanasugi stressed that the embassy will do its utmost to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals by working with Chinese authorities.