The Lithuanian Parliament has approved the initiative to name 2020 the Year of Chiune Sugihara.

Next year will mark the 80th anniversary of the Japanese diplomat’s noble work while residing in Kaunas. It will also be a great chance to celebrate his 120th birthday.

The Japanese Consul-General Chiune Sugihara signed a few thousand life visas and therefore saved numerous lives of Jewish people in the wake of the Second World War. The consulate building is now a small yet very popular – especially with Japanese tourists – museum that was opened in 2000. It was refurbished with the help of the Japanese government in 2008. The house is also home for Sugihara foundation ‘Diplomats For Life’.

One of the main events in 2020 will be the Sugihara Week, the bi-annual event initiated by local enthusiasts and attracting friends and partners from Japan and Israel to Kaunas. We hope to tell you more about it very soon.

We invite you to get inspired and dig deeper into the life of Chiune Sugihara, as well as the story of Jan Zwartendijk, a Dutch businessman and diplomat who initiated the transit visa process in Kaunas. We have published a few different maps about that – find them in our Publications section.