Lithuania Wants Chiune Sugihara Included on UNESCO Memory of the World Register

Mr. Hajime Furuta, governor of Gifu Prefecture, center, discusses Sugihara initiative.
photo courtesy Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.

Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevičius met the governor of Gifu Prefecture Hajime Furuta in Vilnius October 30 where Mr. Furuta presented an application made by Japan to have documents connected with the activity of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

“Lithuania is prepared to contribute to this wonderful initiative and our country and Japan are looking at ways to work together on this,” foreign minister Linkevičius said.

The mayor of Yaotsu, the town in Gifu Prefecture where Sugihara was born and raised, Shingo Akatsuka, who initiated the UNESCO application, accompanied governor Furuta to Lithuania. His town hosts a memorial museum with much space devoted to Kaunas, where Sugihara operated, and Lithuania.

The Lithuanian foreign minister said: “Chiune Sugihara represents one of the most important cultural and historical connections between Lithuania and Japan.”

Recently a new film about the Japanese diplomat who rescued Jews during the Holocaust premiered in Lithuania, “Persona Non Grata: The Chiune Sugihara Story,” and Japanese tourists flock to the Sugihara House museum in Kaunas and sites associated with his actions in Lithuania.

from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, full story here.