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.