Chiune Sugihara, Japanese consul in Kaunas, Lithuania at the outbreak of World War II, acted in defiance of his own government to issue life-saving Japanese transit visas for Jewish refugees fleeing annihilation by the Nazis. These have been given the name “Visas for Life”.

Vast waves of Polish refugees had escaped to neighboring Lithuania following the German invasion of their country on September 1, 1939 and were urgently seeking a way out of Europe, but the Soviet takeover of Lithuania and related closure of embassies and consulates made the task nearly impossible. In desperation, they approached Sugihara in hopes of obtaining transit visas through Japan as their only means of escape. Moved by their plight, Sugihara sought permission from his superiors for mass issuance of visas but was firmly rebuffed. The diplomat, struggling with his own conscience, “ultimately reached the conclusion that humanity and compassion come first.” He resolved to save the refugees and, at risk to his own career and future, issued thousands of visas that gave these people new lives.

We commemorate Sugihara's inspirational actions in these pages.
Visas for Life


Chiune Sugihara Sempo Museum

2023.12.14 Activities : Participated in “Celebration of Monument to Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara” in Numazu City (November 5, 2023)

Activities :  Sugihara Chiune: The Duty and Humanity of an Intelligence Officer (Japan Library)>>(Books about Chiune)

2023.8.31 Activities :  Commemorative lecture at the Ichikawa Conference of the Chiba Prefecture
2022.11.9 Activities : Lecture at the Member's American Club in Azabu
2022.4.6 Activities : Lecture at Aichi Prefectural Zuiryo High School
2022.3.29 Notices :Report: “Chiune Sugihara Exhibition: A Retrospective –
120th Anniversary of Sugihara’s Birth”
2022.1.1 Activities : New Year’s Greeting
2021.11.29 Notices :Virtual tour of the Chiune Sugihara Sempo Museum open.(November 29, 2021)
2021.10.25 Activities :Chiune Sugihara Exhibition (December 23, 2021-January 9, 2022)
2021.9.15 Notices :Closure of Chiune Sugihara Sempo Museum
2021.6.23 Activities :Chiune Sugihara Exhibition: A Retrospective (August 4-23, 2021)
2021.3.27 Activities : Unveiling of Chiune Sugihara statue in Nagoya (March 26, 2021)
2021.1.1 Activities : We wish everyone a most Happy New Year
2020.11.10 Activities : Commemoration of monument to Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara in Numazu
2020.9.4 Activities : Special exhibition ends
2020.8.31 Activities : Nagoya Celebrates 80th Anniversary of "Visas for Life"
Chiune Sugihara Gallery – traveling exhibition
2020.8.1 Activities : Special exhibition opens
2020.7.17 Activities : 120th anniversary of Chiune Sugihara's birth ・ 80th anniversary of Visas for Life
2020.7.17 Activities : Chiune Sugihara Sempo Museum to reopen
2020.6.2 Activities : Museum to reopen this month
2020.4.3 Activities : Extension of temporary closure
2020.3.13 Activities : Extension of temporary closure
2020.1.1 Activities : Happy New Year. May your 2020 be a bright, healthy and beautiful year.
2019.12.1 Activities : The Courage to Remember: The Holocaust 1939-1945 The Bravery of Anne Frank and Chiune Sugihara
2019.11.10 Activities : Visit from son of survivor
2019.11.10 Activities : “The Courage to Remember: The Bravery of Anne Frank and Chiune Sugihara” exhibition
2019.11.10 Activities : Visits from survivor families
2019.11.10 Activities : Speech: Chiune Sugihara’s Decision and Beliefs
2019.8.30 Activities : Museum highlighted in major dailies
2019.8.21 Google Doodle : Google chooses Chiune Sugihara as daily Doodle (29 July 2019)
2019.8.6 Activities : Opening of special exhibition "Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations"(31 July 2019)
2019.7.17 Activities : Special Exhibition: “Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations”(31 July 2019)
2019.6.6 Activities : Sugihara House Director Simonas visits Japan (18-30 May 2019)
2019.5.31 Activities : Visit by Kanto Zuiryo Society and Zuiryo HS Principal Shimada(18 May 2019)
2019.1.29 Activities : Holocaust Memorial Day (29 January 2019)
United Nations in Thailand
Speech by Chihiro Sugihara

NPO Chiune Sugihara. Visas For Life
1F,2-22-21 Akasaka Minato-ku,Tokyo

Copyright©2011 NPO Chiune Sugihara. Visas For Life All Rights Reserved.