Chiune Sugihara at desk
Photo from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Hiroki Sugihara

AJC Los Angeles and JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles were proud, in partnership with the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, to honor the legacy of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese diplomat who saved the lives of thousands of displaced Jews during World War II. Recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, Consul Sugihara issued transit visas at the Japanese Consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania to thousands of Jews, regardless of financial documentation. He enabled their safe passage through Japan to seek refuge in a third country. These stories are documented at the newly-opened Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum in Japan. 

On Tuesday, November 17, at 5:00pm PT, we commemorated the 80th anniversary of the heroism of Chiune Sugihara by telling his story and discussing his enduring legacy upon the relationship between Japan and the Jewish community. 

We were honored to welcome Leo Melamed, whose family received the Sugihara visas and were able to flee Nazi occupation, as well as Akinori Nishikawa, President of Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum. The museum houses numerous stories and items of the locals that aided the Jewish refugees. 

The session was moderated by Richard Hirschhaut, Director of AJC Los Angeles, and emceed by Yuko Kaifu, President of JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles. Opening remarks were provided by Consul-General of Japan in Los Angeles Akira Muto and California State Senator Bob Hertzberg. 

Please click here to view a recording of the program courtesy of JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles.
Please click here to view the film “Sugihara Survivors.”
Click here to view photos of the Port of Humanity Museum in Tsurugra.
You may view JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles’ webpage for this event by clicking here.  

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