President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President paid tribute to Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara

2019-10-24

Thursday, October 24, Japan – President Gitanas Nausėda who is on a working visit to Japan visited the Chiune Sugihara Memorial Museum in Yaotsu, laid a wreath at the monument to the Japanese diplomat who worked in Kaunas and saved people during World War II. On the occasion of the President’s visit, a memorial plaque to Chiune Sugihara was unveiled.

“Chiune Sugihara is one the key figures uniting our states. There are many tokens of tribute to him in Lithuania and in Japan. Sugihara represents the highest values of tolerance, humanity and justice to nowadays’ generations. His duty to humanity stood above the official rules and his heroic act still serves as an inspiration to all of us”, said the President unveiling the memorial plaque.

Vice-consul of the Japanese consulate in Kaunas who worked in 1939–1940, issued Japanese transit visas to Jews. Although issuing visas was contrary to the policies of his government at the time, his act saved more than 6,000 lives. In 1985, the Yad Vashem center in Israel recognized him as the Righteous Among the Nations for this humane act.

According to the President, Chiune Sugihara stood as a symbol of togetherness between Lithuania and Japan and cherishing his memory contributed to strengthening intergovernmental, economic, cultural and educational ties between our countries. 2020 has been designated the year of Chiune Sugihara in Lithuania to mark the 80th anniversary of his work in Kaunas which also coincides with his 120th birth anniversary.

Cities related to the legacy of Sugihara in Japan are joining a new tourist route, developing tourism infrastructure and willingly expanding their contacts with Kaunas, where Sugihara Memorial Museum is established. More and more Japanese tourists visit Lithuania because of the attractions related to the work of Chiune Sugihara in Kaunas.

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2019.10.24 12:18

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