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Chiune Sugihara Corner

gAfter suffering much anguish, I finally reached the conclusion that placing priority on humanity and philanthropy was the right thing to do. h
 Biography of Chiune Sugihara
Chiune Sugihara was born on January 1, 1900 in Yaotsu-cho, Kamo-gun, Gifu Prefecture. His father wanted his high-achieving son to become a doctor, but the young Chiune desired a field in which he could use foreign languages, and at the age of eighteen, entered Waseda Universityfs Faculty of Education, Department of English Literature. He later passed the stringent exams for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His choosing to learn the Russian language, as recommended by an examiner during an interview, would determine his destiny.

Japanese Consulate in Kaunas, Consular Agent Chuine Sugihara.
Japanese Consulate in Kaunas, Consular Agent Chuine Sugihara.
 Decisions made by Chiune Sugihara
Early in the morning of July 18, 1940, Jewish refugees descended upon the Japanese Consulate in Kaunas to obtain a visa to escape the clutches of the Nazis. He understood that he could only issue visas for several people in his capacity, and that he would need approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if he were to issue visas for hundreds and thousands of people. He sent a number of telegrams to the Ministry, but his directives were not to issue the travel documents. His resolve, after agonizing over the matter, was to issue the visas against the orders of the Ministry.


Japanese Consulate, Kaunas.
Japanese Consulate, Kaunas.
Jewish refugees lined up for visas in front of the Japanese Consulate, Kaunas.
Jewish refugees lined up for visas in front of the Japanese Consulate, Kaunas.
 Sugihara Kept on Issuing gVisas for Lifeh
Consul Representative Sugihara, who resolved to issue Japan Transit Visas for the Jewish refugees, took on the task of issuing an average of 300 visas per day and started hand writing the visas to save as many people as possible. The tip of his fountain pen soon broke off and he was forced to write with another pen, but since he was not used to writing with that pen, he developed blisters on his fingers. Despite the pain in his arm and fingers, he continued to write. Even after the Consulate was closed down, he handed out travel certificates as an alternative to the visas from a hotel, at Kaunas Station and even from the window of the train to Berlin.

Japan transit visa.


Japan transit visa
 The Record of Visa Issuance Remains in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On February 5, 1941, Sugihara, who was assigned to the Consulate in Prague (former Czechoslovakia), sent a telegram report to Minister Matsuoka of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the number of Jews from Lithuania who were to arrive in Japan, listing their names, destinations and visa dates. In the report, he states that about 1,500 out of 2,132 Lithuanians and former citizens of Poland are Jews. However, he had deliberately given a conservative estimate of the number of Jews, as in fact, almost all of them were Jewish refugees.

Official Records compiled by Chiune Sugihara.


Official Records compiled by Chiune Sugihara
 The number of refugees who landed in Tsuruga
No accurate statistics on the number of Jewish refugees arriving in Tsuruga Port with visas issued by Sugihara have been found, and so the actual figures are unknown. According to some newspaper articles, by February 1941, the total came to 5,855 people, while other newspapers report the total to be only 3,832. However, a newspaper published on October 24th reports that the number of Jewish refugees who had arrived in Tsuruga the previous summer from strife-torn Europe via Siberia, and left mainly for the US and other countries from Kobe, was 6,000.
Registry of Jewish refugees arriving in Tsuruga Harbor.
Registry of Jewish refugees arriving in Tsuruga Harbor.
The Sugihara List.
The Sugihara List.
A Risky Decision
gNot even a minute to rest.
Commencing work issuing Japanese Transit Visas for the Jewish refugees.h


Japanese Consulate in Kaunas, Consular Agent Chuine Sugihara.
Japanese Consulate in Kaunas,
Consular Agent Chuine Sugihara.
A telegraph message sent from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Consular Agent Sugihara.
A telegraph message sent from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Consular Agent Sugihara.

Visa issuance report.
Visa issuance report.

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