Photo/IllutrationSoma Sakimoto stands between his father, right, and Hiroshi Inoya at Okinawa Technical High School in Naha on May 21. Sakimoto thanked Inoya for enabling him to attend his uncle's funeral in April. (Tsukasa Kimura)

  • Photo/Illustraion

After a monthlong search, an Okinawa student could finally thank a good Samaritan who came to the rescue after the teenager lost his wallet and had no means to attend his uncle’s funeral.

The kind stranger, who turned out to be a doctor in Saitama Prefecture, gave the teenager 60,000 yen ($543) without asking for his name or address, or giving any indication that he wanted to be paid back.

The two were reunited on May 21 in Naha.

Their previous meeting came on the morning of April 24, after Soma Sakimoto, 17, a second-year student at Okinawa Technical High School, left his dormitory and headed to Naha Airport by monorail. He planned to buy a ticket for a flight to Yonagunijima island for his uncle’s funeral.

But when he arrived at Naha Airport Station, he noticed his wallet was missing.

Fortunately for Sakimoto, Hiroshi Inoya, 68, had just landed in Naha for a business trip. He entered the same monorail train that was about to return to the city from Naha Airport Station.

All arriving passengers had left the car except Sakimoto, who remained bent over in his seat with his head held in his hands.

Inoya approached Sakimoto to inquire what was wrong. After Sakimoto explained that he had lost his wallet and had no money for the impending flight, the doctor asked, “How much?”

Sakimoto said “60,000 yen,” the amount that was in his wallet.

As the monorail’s departure bell rang, Inoya handed 60,000 yen to Sakimoto and told him to hurry to catch his flight.

The two did not exchange names or addresses.

After attending his uncle’s funeral, Sakimoto contacted a newspaper in Okinawa, explained his experience with the stranger, and asked that an article be published that shows his face. He said he wanted to find the stranger to say thank you and pay back the money.

On May 10, one of Inoya’s colleagues read the newspaper article online and informed the doctor.

On May 21, Inoya visited Okinawa Technical High School, where he was welcomed by Sakimoto.

The missing wallet had been found at a different station and was returned to Sakimoto, along with the 60,000 yen.

“I am relieved to be able to thank you directly,” Sakimoto said as he repaid Inoya the 60,000 yen. “I want to become a person like you who can speak to someone in trouble.”

According to Inoya, when he told a colleague about the incident, he was told, “You were scammed.”

“When I saw the news that he was looking for me, I was happy to the point of tears,” Inoya said.