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Campus Now

New Year Issue (Jan.)


Public honor for the "Japanese Schindler"

Relief of Chiune Sugihara erected at Waseda Campus

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Chiune Sugihara's death, dubbed the "Japanese Schindler", a relief was erected at Waseda Campus between Buildings No.11 and 14, and on October 24 an unveiling ceremony took place, attended by President Kaoru Kamata, members of the "Honor Chiune Sugihara Society", established by mainly members of the Waseda Diet Association, relatives of Sugihara, Sugihara's visa issuer, the Israeli Minister of Home Front Defense, as well as participants from the Israeli, Polish, and Lithuanian embassies.

Leaving the English Department of Waseda Higher Normal School to study abroad in 1919, and later working as a diplomat at the consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania when the Second World War broke out, Sugihara is known for issuing a large amount of visas, against the official instructions of the Foreign Ministry, to refugees from Poland and other European countries who were being oppressed by Nazi Germany, and saved the lives of more than 6000 refugees. On this occasion, the relief has been donated by the "Honor Chiune Sugihara Society", and is inscribed with the words of Sugihara, "I made what was the correct and natural decision, not as a diplomat, but as a human being."

The donated relief

The unveiling ceremony