Movie on "Visas for Life" Japanese Diplomat Shown in Washington (News)


Washington, April 20 (Jiji Press)—A movie depicting the life of late Japanese diplomat Sugihara Chiune, who issued transit visas to thousands of Jews fleeing Nazi persecution during World War II, was shown at the US Department of State in Washington DC on Thursday.

The screening party was joined by CME Group Chairman Emeritus Leo Melamed, 85, one of the Jewish people who escaped to the United States using the visas, which have come to be known as "Visas for Life."

The event was cohosted by the State Department and the Japanese, Lithuanian, and Israeli embassies in Washington to help mark this year's Holocaust memorial day. Some 150 people, including diplomats and university students, watched the movie.

"Sugihara's instinctive reaction contrary to the orders of his foreign office saved the lives of over 5,000 Jews from certain death. I was one of those lives," Melamed said in a speech he gave before the showing of the film.

"Descendants of those saved now number in the hundreds of thousands," noted Melamed, praising Sugihara's achievement. "It is said if you save the life of one person, it is as if you have saved the entire world."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

diplomacy Jiji Press World War II Sugihara Chiune