The deeds of Chiune Sugihara to be commemorated in 2020


2019 12 20


The Government has approved a Programme of Events to Commemorate the Year of Chiune Sugihara in 2020. Next year will mark the 80th anniversary of Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara’s work in Kaunas (1939-1940) and the 120th anniversary of his birth. Sugihara issued Japanese transit visas thereby saving more than 6000 lives. In 1985, he was honoured as the Righteous among the Nations.

“The Government has approved the Programme of Events to Commemorate the Year of Chiune Sugihara in 2020. The planned events in Lithuania and abroad will give additional impetus to the development of Lithuanian-Japanese relations. It is highly important that Lithuania and Japan jointly cherish the memory of Sugihara’s deeds”, says First Deputy Chancellor of the Government Deividas Matulionis.

To cherish the memory of Chiune Sugihara, commemorations and conferences will be organised in Kaunas and Vilnius, and a solemn meeting dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Sugihara Foundation will be held. While carrying out cultural, educational and study activities, an exhibition dedicated to Sugihara, an international conference on the research work carried by schoolchildren, an exhibition of Japanese-Lithuanian works of art, a series of events Asia Week in Kaunas and concerts will be held to mark the occasion. A monument to Sugihara will also be unveiled in Kaunas.

As part of the awareness-raising and publishing plan, communication projects will be pursued and translations of important historical sources into Japanese made. A postage stamp dedicated to the 80th anniversary of “Visas for Life” issued by Chiune Sugihara will be released, memoirs of the persons rescued will be collected and published, and special events in Japan and diplomatic missions of Lithuania will be held.

In 2020, to highlight the importance of the work of the Japanese Consul to today’s world, a wide range of events will be organized by ministries, interested municipalities and public agencies, such as the Jewish Community of Lithuania, the Jewish Community of Šiauliai County, public agency Sugihara Foundation “Diplomats for life”, Lithuanian Post, Lithuanian Railways, National Philharmonic Society, Martynas Mažvydas National Library and others.

To mark Chiune Sugihara’s anniversary, other events outside the programme will be held in Lithuania and abroad as well, which will be organized in cooperation with partners in Lithuania by the Embassy of Japan in Vilnius and the Japanese municipalities, NGOs and private individuals. In addition, on the initiative of the Embassy of Japan, a logo is being created to commemorate Sugihara’s anniversaries, to be presented in January.