In a meeting with the Ambassador of Japan in Lithuania, a focus on Sugihara House


2023 06 20


Minister of Culture Simonas Kairys met today with His Excellency OZAKI Tetsu, Ambassador of Japan in Lithuania. The meeting focused on Sugihara House, the museum located in Kaunas.

Minister Kairys informed the Ambassador that the Ministry’s leadership maintains regular contact with the owners of the site and encourages them to make use of existing opportunities for funding, by means of applying to various competitive funding programmes.

This year, Sugihara House received funding for several projects, including for educational excursions, renewal of the exhibition concept, and establishment of a virtual museum.

The Ambassador presented to the Minister a project to increase the prominence of diplomats Chiune Sugihara and Jan Zwartendijk.

The latter, together with Chiune Sugihara, risking their careers and the well-being of their families, issued visas to Jews during the Second World War, thus saving thousands of lives. They have been recognised at Yad Vashem in Israel as belonging to the Righteous Among the Nations, and to this day remain inspiring examples to us all.

In June, a room dedicated to the businessman and Dutch consul Jan Zwartendijk was opened at Sugihara House, in which several personal items that had belonged to him when he worked in interwar Kaunas are displayed.

In May, the Government approved the 2023–2025 action plan for strengthening the Lithuanian-Japanese strategic partnership. It is expected that the action plan will encourage long-term cooperation between the cultural professionals and organisations of both countries and intensify exchanges in culture and the arts.