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The year 2020 declared as the year of Chiune Sugihara
The Seimas declared the year 2020 to be the Year of Chiune Sugihara. The decision was adopted in the light of the fact that 2020 will mark the 80th anniversary of Sugihara’s mission in Kaunas, where he served as a consul of Japan in 1939–1940 and granted Japanese transit visas to the people of Jewish origin, thus rescuing over 6,000 lives. In addition, the 120th anniversary of the birth of Chiune Sugihara will also be celebrated in 2020.
The draft resolution No XIII-3793(2) of the Seimas to this effect was adopted unanimously by 57 MPs. The Resolution underlines the relevance of Sugihara’s moral stance in the context of modern challenges. The Resolution goes on to note that, in 1985, Sugihara was recognised as a Righteous Among the Nations. Moreover, the Resolution notes, the Sugihara Foundation: Diplomats for Life, established by Lithuanian and Belgian intellectuals and entrepreneurs, encourages artists to create works to honour the memory of Sugihara.
The Resolution highlights the role of commemorating Sugihara for expanding the ties with Japan in the fields of economy, culture and education and in view of the fact that Lithuania sees Japan as its strategic partner in Asia.
On September 28 at the Embassy of Lithuania in Tokyo ambassador Gediminas Varvuolis presented a letter of appreciation to Japan Lithuania Friendship association and a group of friends of music, who under the leadership of the authors of Sugihara Opera Mr Yuki Ando and Ms Yuri Shinada, initiated a grassroots crowdfunding project and collected financial support for the benefit of Sugihara House in Kaunas.
On September 22, ambassador Gediminas Varvuolis attended DORA theatre's play SEMPO SUGIHARA ", which tells the story of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who saved Jewish refugees in 1940 Kaunas.
Lecture delivered by President Gitanas Nausėda at Gifu University in Japan.
On October 24, 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.