picture of the day

Sugihara street


Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg-Ikar, right, and Nobuki Sugihara, second from right, son of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who helped saved thousands of Lithuanian Jews in World War II, attends a street-naming ceremony in honour of his father in Netanya, Israel, on Tuesday. During the war, Sugihara issued transit visas to Jews, despite being ordered by the Japanese Foreign Ministry not to do so. He is credited with saving 6,000 Jews from the Holocaust. After returning to Japan in 1947, he was pressured to leave the ministry. He died in 1986.

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such a loser. and probalby a woman at that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Sugihara Street"?

Does this mean we are going to get street names in Japan?

That would help bring Japanese road systems closer to the 21st century!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ben4short: it was supposed to be "nice news", but I hit the 'v' key instead of 'c' and autocorrect, in its infinite wisdom, decided I meant "jive" for some reason. I didn't notice before hitting enter. So, "nice news" is what was intended.

Moderator: Then please repost.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice news.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wonderful for the Sugihara family. A well-deserved honor.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

He was truly an amazing individual. Hopefully we will someday see a street with his name on it in a large city in Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

despite being ordered by the Japanese Foreign Ministry not to do so.

It was a drama story. The Japanese Foreign Ministry never ordered not to do so. Japan can deny entry if that is the case. Japan has more authority than a diplomat.

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

What a great legacy. Japanese people should be really proud of him.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

After returning to Japan in 1947, he was pressured to leave the ministry.

so were many other diplomats because Japan lost the war. Sugiura took a Romania position before returing to Japan for 7 years.

-16 ( +1 / -17 )

Tina, stop with negativity.. the man saved lives and it has nothing to do with Japan authority since these people never went thru the review process, having the actual document allowed them to pass thru russian territory.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Alex, I am being positive. Japan never denied Sugiura's action. The TV drama also dramatized the story and at the ending it says so. Visa itself is not that mighty document, which is necessary but not sufficient to enter a country. It is the Immigration officers at the ports who decide the entry.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

One of the only VERY few Japanese who, in my view, transcended the confines of japanese-ness to humanity . They are trying to score points with his name after putting him in social limbo for just being far ahead in time for his peers . Chiune was ostracized to death for being BIGGER than most of the Japanese in his time. Bless his soul.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

tinawatanabe: " Japan never denied Sugiura's action."

They most certainly did.

"Sugihara sent a cable — he was to send three in all — to his superiors at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, asking permission to issue transit visas to refugees. He was instructed not to do so. The case came to the attention of Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka, who was troubled lest Sugihara’s actions stain his impeccable credentials with his Nazi allies..."

Fortunately Sugiura didn't just pull the famous Japanese "I was only following orders" and went AGAINST orders and issued visas anyway.

"This was an era later made famous by a banal and insidious excuse for brutality: “I was just following orders.” Here was a man who was not following orders, and one who, by issuing more than 2,000 visas to Jewish refugees and their dependents, saved the lives of upward of 6,000 people."

"Sugihara committed an act of not-so-silent defiance when, in 1935, he openly criticized the Japanese military (whose methods and nefarious objectives he despised), left his high post in Harbin in protest and returned to Japan."

He was a great man. The government of Japan, were not at all.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@smith They can't handle the moral truth, because, they are full of " truths" of convenience.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

smith, you are just copying Japan Times article. News articles or TV shows are not always telling the truth. TV drama about Sugihara I saw said at the ending credit that "it is a fiction" or something. It was impossible to issue visa without permission from Tokyo. Japan wouldn't wait for Sugihara to finish issuing 6 thousand visas or didn't have to accept the first person at the port if Japan didn't want to accept. It is not like Japan has to obey to a diplomat. A diplomat alone can not make this happen.

Evidence is Sugihara was not pressued to leave after issuing the visa, and that Japan accepted the thousands of Lithuanian Jews. There is no reason to bash Japan.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )


"There is no reason to bash Japan." perhaps a good tattoo? But can we bash Hitler?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Absolute respect for Mr. Sugihara. Shame on the Japanese authorities of the time for shunning him simply because he went against their - and their ally Nazi Germany's - orders.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

At that time, 200,000 public servants were forced to quit by MacArthur (Purge of Public Officials) . One of three Foreign Ministry officials had to resign. Sugihara was one of them in 1947.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@tinawatanabe Your idea of the facts seems confused. According to records, Sugihara did indeed issue visas against orders. If you have sources to dispute these records, perhaps you should link to them rather than just asserting they're wrong based on a fictionalized TV show (illogical). But, don't take it personally. It's not to "bash Japan," merely the immoral leadership of the time. That doesn't reflect on you or "Japan," which is only an idea anyway. Japan, as a modern idea, can be, and was, imagined anew.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

shallots, there is no evidence that Sugihara issued visas against orders. And it is impossible to do that. If you know any diplomat friends, ask them whether it is possible. TV drams says "it is a fiction". It is true that Sugihara had hard time issuing visas but he did it with Tokyo's permission. No point of issuing visas against orders six thousands of them.

It was the time of the most confusion in Japan. Even in the TV drama, I remember it was like he was not receiving calls from Tokyo, so he went ahead with issuing visas.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I read about Sugihara. That was the book showing Sugihara's cable communications with the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo doring pre WW2 era. What's great about him was, as a diplomat in the Baltic countries, he not only issued visas but also communicated with Foreign Ministry in Tokyo in the way Tokyo will approve the visas even under then Japan Germany relationship. Visas are in general decided to be valid at the entrance, not when they were issued. So Sugihara made sure those people are accepted and allowed entrance to Japan even after he issued the visas by talking to Tokyo from the embassy in Europe.

Another important thing is that many of those people who got visas from Sugihara were not running away from the Nazi, but from the Soviet Union. At the time he was issuing visas Germans were still far away west from Baltic countries but Russians were about to come to the Jews there. Sugihara made sure they can travel to Japan through Trans Siberian Train system to Japanese occupied area in China by paying for the travel so that the Soviet Union can justify the cost of Trans Siberian Railways. Quite a diplomat Sugihara was.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At first he issued visas, but as the end drew near, he was just writing his name on scraps of paper and that was good enough to save many. Amazing!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@tina, you should study what happened in Iran, when the Canadian ambassador sheltered US citizens and we got them out of that country, only a few decades ago. And not to compare with what happened relative to this story, but visas can, indeed, be issued by envoys to foreign nationals, but that's not the real issue, here. What's at issue in this story is that Japan has a hero who is appreciated worldwide for what he did, in the name of humanity, not country. There is no better story about humankind than one of compassion.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tinawatanabe: "smith, you are just copying Japan Times article."

An article that has taken facts an exact quotations, Tina. It's not fiction.

" News articles or TV shows are not always telling the truth."

Especially the Yomiuri and Sankei, but you don't question those. It's fact Tina. Deal with it. The man stood out and went against his nation. That's part of what makes him a unique and admirable character, since it was against wrong.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@tinawatanabe Forget about the TV drama. This is either true or not true and, likely, there is evidence available. What I'm seeing in the accounts is that he went against orders. There seems to be sources recounting this point. Without access to primary interviews and sources, and being otherwise lazy, I'll rely on the experts for the time being. However, if you have a link that's not too convoluted and that is authoritative or trustworthy, I'll take a look. You don't seem any more diligent than I in citing anything. The fact that a TV drama says it's fiction has no bearing on other accounts on the matter. Wikipedia can certainly be as wrong as anything else, including newspapers and the Israeli government, but you might want to cite something if you're going against the mainstream here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

shallots, If he went against orders, why did Japan accept six thousands of Jews? If he was fired because of not obeying Tokyo orders, why he worked 7 years after that until he came back to Japan after the war ended?

If a good thing happened, the Japanese would appreciate many people not just the person who directly worked on it but the people who helped the person, using "Okage Sama De" which means "I thank everybody who helped me directly and indirectly including God."

I can't believe many people use this story as another opportunity to bash Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If he went against orders, why did Japan accept six thousands of Jews?

I have no idea because I don't know what's involved in the steps of the process. There apparently was a Jewish community in Kobe and occupied China. Apparently, many Jews were able to get transit on to other locations internationally. I don't know if they are able to turn people away who had visas or not and, if they were, how they would have facilitated returning people with "valid" visas to a "war zone." I can't speculate. You are asking questions which is fine. Since you are not offering any more details than I am, we just don't know. There is an account on wikipedia, in newspaper articles, as referred to by several historians and as referenced by articles reporting on Israeli government commemorations. I'm not an expert in this. If you want to sway me, I'd say do some research. Your claim that it is a fabrication might well be true. However, I tend to go with the mainstream history, peer reviewed, until I see something to the contrary. Of course, it's not true because of authority. But, as I'm not an expert, I have to go with some accounts that are backed up. You should back up your position. I'm open-minded. The fact that you take this as "Japan bashing" makes me think you might be suffering from confirmation bias since the WWII-government-as-victim seems to be your main theme whenever you pop up and since you can never even come up with one example of when the Japanese government can be criticized or is ever wrong. It's the "boy who cried wolf" phenomenon. His family say he was asked to resign because of Lithuania. Why did he continue to serve in the interim? Well, bureaucratic incompetence wouldn't surprise me. Or the confusion of the time as well. Who knows? I cannot assume anything. It was certainly an extremely confusing and chaotic time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

His family say he was asked to resign because of Lithuania.

He may have misunderstood. He may have speculated on his own. But one in every three officials had to resign at that time. Please read the Japanese site which explains in detail. Every event happened indicate he had permissions. Please ask any Japanese diplomat.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )


But one in every three officials had to resign at that time...Every event happened indicate he had permissions.

At what time? Between 41-46? Give me a source. I doubt many diplomats these days can tell me what happened 70 years ago. You really need to give sources. There are two text sources on wikipedia given for this. I've no idea if they're trustworthy. Furthermore, myriad sources claim he sent two cables and received orders in response. There are even several sources that give the number of cables he sent the Japanese ministry and some quote of the actual text of his response, supposedly issued by "K Tanaka." These are all over the internet. They could be made up. Check for example Yad Vashem's article on him or the book by Thomas J. Craughwell. There is a book on this called, "Chiune Sugihara and Japan's Foreign Ministry, Between Incompetence and Culpability." The book is by Seishiro Sugihara. The common family name is just a coincidence, according to the forward. I've no idea how to evaluate these books, articles, and websites as I am not an historian or in possession of in-depth historical records. However, you don't provide and methodological coherence for your skepticism. It is hard to take your assertions seriously without specific context, sources or historical data. Here is the Sugihara book link:


As you seem to proceed along the line of, "Japanese officials of the time never did anything (significant) wrong," it's hard to know how to process anything you say. I wonder what it would mean to you to be wrong. Is it possible you could be wrong about this? For me, it would be nice to know that although Japan was aligned with Hitler, the Japanese officials actually approved saving Jews. It's not impossible that some grand fraud has been perpetrated here. However, you're only proceeding from assumptions that sound more like confirmation bias to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )



Japan honored Sugihara in 1944 with Fifth Order of Merit while he was working in Romania. He was promoted well until he had to resign in 1947.

There were many other Japanese who helped Jews. Kiichiro Higuchi, military major at Manchuria helped said to be 20,000 (the number unconfirmed) Jews in 1938.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@tinawatanabe It is difficult for me to make out the website. But, I can see there is evidence that Japan refused to exterminate the Jewish community in China. I did not know this history. That's good to know. As for Sugihara, I can't isolate the relevant information there. I'm not sure what your contention is. Perhaps it's better to just be clear. If you are contending that Japan determined to allow Sugihara to issue visas as he liked, then maybe you should say so and just quote the relevant documents and sources. It's much easier than going around in circles. Make your case. The link you provided itself links to the very same book arguing for Sugihara's case that I found and cited above. As I said, there is this reading of the cable denying his request by the Foreign Ministry. Do you think that the cable is a fake? Thats also on some of the sites. You might try isolating that bit and discrediting it by tracking down where it came from. If Sugihara is a fraud, gambatte! Maybe you can uncover it. On the other hand, if the cable turns out to be verifiable, then you will have to admit he acted heroically and went against the directives of the ministry at the time. It's hard to sift through this stuff. It's true that there was a lot of false stuff written about Japan after WWII (Nanking for example). On the other hand, Japan did some nasty stuff too. If you always argue it's impossible for Japan to ever have done anything wrong, then people will have a hard time accepting your case in specific instances. You will just be dismissed as someone who is unreasonable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@shallots If you can not trust my Japanese link, read a book "Japan, Made in Judea" written by a Jew, Rabbi Marvin Tokayer, where she writes about Sugihara.

If Sugihara is a fraud, gambatte!

As I said, he was awarded Fifth Order of Merit after issuing the visas. He is a hero. He was also promoted to a diplomat. (He was not technically diplomat when issuing the visas)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )


Thanks for the link. I second what Shallots wrote. Could you tell me who runs that article? I cannot seem to find the writer, despite spending a fair amount of time searching.

Next, do you have an government links to Sugihara? One would think that the government would want to recognize his ardent labor.


Any thoughts on this one?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@tinawatanabe Did I say I didn't trust your link? I said I don't know what information you want to highlight there. Just be a bit more direct and clear.

He is a hero.

Then what are we arguing about?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Then what are we arguing about?

This Sugihara story was changed for the propaganda as if Japan did not help the Jews.

There was an incident recently that many "The Diary of Anne Frank" of Tokyo libraries were damaged.

All comfort women statues in USA have a mention of the Jews although there is no relation.

During the war, Japan was the only country that helped the Jews in large numbers. The highest ranking officer Hideki Tojo approved to help the Jews, under which 8 other officers including the two I mentioned in earilier posts Kiichiro Higuchi(helped 20,000 Jews) and Norihiro Yasue(50,000 Jews) who were listed in Jews'"Golden Book".

When Germany complained Japan, Tojo flatly rejected saying "it is a humanitarian measure"

When Japan lost the war and was occupied by GHQ, Japan lost all the diplomacy right and closed down all the Embassies. And GHQ purged 200,000 public sevants (Koshoku Tsuiho). In all, one third of Foreign Ministry officials had to leave. Sugihara was one of them.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

tinawatanabe: "This Sugihara story was changed for the propaganda as if Japan did not help the Jews."

Changed by whom? Sugihara himself is being quoted. Did HE change it? Did Japanese change it to make themselves look bad, according to you, so that they could say it's propaganda to make Sugihara look better? It makes zero sense to alter history in this respect, tina. The fact of the matter is that Japan did not want to put its ties with Germany on the line, and were not willing to permit the visas. Sugihara wrote them anyways, and saved lives. THAT is why it is such an amazing story, in part, and what makes him even more of a hero. I'm sorry you do not like it, tina, but that's fact.

"All comfort women statues in USA have a mention of the Jews although there is no relation."

Where are you getting this from?

"When Germany complained Japan, Tojo flatly rejected saying "it is a humanitarian measure""

Proof? No blogs, please.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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