Vilnius to welcome delegation from Tokyo

As Lithuania pushes for closer ties with Japan, a delegation will arrive in Vilnius to commemorate the Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Lithuanian Jews from the Holocaust.

Japan’s Vice-Consul Chiune Sugihara lived in Kaunas between 1939 and 1940. In cooperation with Dutch Honorary Consul Jan Zwartendijk, he issued thousands of ‘visas for life’, helping at least 6,000 Jews escape the Holocaust.  Read more:  ‘I just pitied them’ – quiet Japanese diplomat who saved thousands from Holocaust in Lithuania    Nobuki Sugihara, his son, will join the delegation led by a special adviser to the Japanese prime minister.

The delegation will include around 200 people and they will arrive on a special flight named ‘the friendship flight’, initiated by the Lithuanian honorary consul, the Lithuanian presidential office said.

In 2019, Japan and Lithuania  signed   two cooperation memorandums, and earlier in January, Japan’s state-owned investment bank  expressed   interest in the Rail Baltic, energy, and startup projects.

On Wednesday, the guests will be received by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda and First Lady Diana Nausėdienė. On Thursday, an exhibition to mark Sugihara’s 120th birth anniversary and the 80th anniversary of his deeds during the Second World War will be unveiled at the Lithuanian parliament.

The Lithuanian Seimas declared 2020 the year of Chiune Sugihara as the country marks the 80th anniversary of his activity in Lithuania’s second-largest city of Kaunas as well as his 120th birth anniversary.


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