California Designates July 29 as "Sugihara Visas Day"


Los Angeles, July 30 (Jiji Press)--The California State Senate has designated July 29 as "Sugihara Visas Day" to commemorate the achievements of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who issued visas to save thousands of Jews fleeing Nazi persecution during World War II.

The date was the day Sugihara started providing the visas in 1940.

Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg, who introduced the legislation to commemorate July 29, said in a YouTube video posted by the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center that Sugihara Visas Day gives "credit for the honor, dignity and humanity of Sugihara and his visas for life for the thousands of lives he saved."

"It's a great story of the relationship between Japanese people and the Jewish people," Hertzberg said.

When Sugihara was vice consul in Lithuania, he issued transit visas that enabled Jewish refugees from Poland to pass thorough Japan before entering a third country.

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