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Cool Japan/ Cool Japanese Person / Chiune Sugihara (杉原 千畝)

File:Sugihara-konsulat w Kownie.JPG
(Former Japanese consulate in Kaunas)

Chiune Sugihara is one of the Cool Japanese without fail.
Quote the article by Wikipedia partly.
Chiune Sugihara (杉原 千畝, 1 January 1900 – 31 July 1986) was a Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul for the Japanese Empire in Lithuania. During World War II, he helped several thousand Jews leave the country by issuing transit visas to Jewish refugees so that they could travel to Japan. Most of the Jews who escaped were refugees from German-occupied Poland or residents of Lithuania. Sugihara wrote travel visas that facilitated the escape of more than 6,000 Jewish refugees to Japanese territory, risking his career and his family's lives. In 1985, Israel honored him as Righteous Among the Nations for his actions.
http://www.gifu-photo.com/cms/cmsUpfile/pict/60/603_img_1_b.jpg?1173243155
(Chiune Sugihara / 杉原 千畝, 1 January 1900 – 31 July 1986)

In 1939, he became a vice-consul of the Japanese Consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania. His other duty was to report on Soviet and German troop movements.

Sugihara is said to have cooperated with Polish intelligence, as part of a bigger Japanese-Polish cooperative plan. As the Soviet Union occupied the sovereign Lithuania in 1940, many Jewish refugees from Poland (Polish Jews) as well as Lithuanian Jews tried to acquire exit visas. Without the visas it was dangerous to travel, yet it was impossible to find countries willing to issue them. Hundreds of refugees came to the Japanese consulate in Kaunas, trying to get a visa to Japan. The Dutch consul Jan Zwartendijk had provided some of them with an official third destination to Curaçao, a Caribbean island and Dutch colony that required no entry visa, or Dutch Guiana (which, upon independence in 1975, became Suriname). At the time, the Japanese government required that visas be issued only to those who had gone through appropriate immigration procedures and had enough funds. Most of the refugees did not fulfill these criteria. Sugihara dutifully contacted the Japanese Foreign Ministry three times for instructions. Each time, the Ministry responded that anybody granted a visa should have a visa to a third destination to exit Japan, with no exceptions.
http://shiga-saku.net/usr/radioguitar/20100703%E6%9D%89%E5%8E%9F%E5%8D%83%E7%95%9D%E9%8A%85%E5%83%8F.JPG
(Chiune Sugihara / Bronze statue at Memorial Museum in Gifu, his birthplace)

From 18 July to 28 August 1940, aware that applicants were in danger if they stayed behind, Sugihara began to grant visas on his own initiative, after consulting with his family. He ignored the requirements and issued the Jews with a ten-day visa to transit through Japan, in direct violation of his orders. Given his inferior post and the culture of the Japanese Foreign Service bureaucracy, this was an extraordinary act of disobedience. He spoke to Soviet officials who agreed to let the Jews travel through the country via the Trans-Siberian Railway at five times the standard ticket price.
http://www.jrt.co.jp/tv/ohayo/2001/03image/0705A.JPG
(Sachiko Sugihara, Wife of Chiune Sugihara)

Sugihara continued to hand write visas, reportedly spending 18–20 hours a day on them, producing a normal month's worth of visas each day, until 4 September, when he had to leave his post before the consulate was closed. By that time he had granted thousands of visas to Jews, many of whom were heads of households and thus permitted to take their families with them. On the night before their scheduled departure, Sugihara and his wife stayed awake writing out visa approvals. According to witnesses, he was still writing visas while in transit from his hotel and after boarding the train at the Kaunas Railway Station, throwing visas into the crowd of desperate refugees out of the train's window even as the train pulled out.

In final desperation, blank sheets of paper with only the consulate seal and his signature (that could be later written over into a visa) were hurriedly prepared and flung out from the train. As he prepared to depart, he said, “please forgive me. I cannot write anymore. I wish you the best.” When he bowed deeply to the people before him, someone exclaimed, “Sugihara. We’ll never forget you. I’ll surely see you again!”
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517ZK076MCL.jpg
(Manga by Shogakukan titled Chiune Sugihara)

Sugihara himself wondered about official reaction to the thousands of visas he issued. Many years later, he recalled, "No one ever said anything about it. I remember thinking that they probably didn't realize how many I actually issued."

And also visit the following.
http://www.geocities.jp/lithuaniasugiharahouse/title.png

The total number of Jews saved by Sugihara is in dispute, estimating about 6,000; family visas—which allowed several people to travel on one visa—were also issued, which would account for the much higher figure. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has estimated that Chiune Sugihara issued transit visas for about 6,000 Jews and that around 40,000 descendants of the Jewish refugees are alive today because of his actions. Polish intelligence produced some false visas. Sugihara's widow and eldest son estimate that he saved 6,000 Jews from certain death, whereas Boston University professor and author, Hillel Levine, thinks it was far higher at around 10,000.

By TS on Feb 1, 2012
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。