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Lithuania's second-biggest city of Kaunas is launching on Monday a week of events to commemorate Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Lithuanian Jews from the Holocaust during World War Two.
Chiune Sugihara
Chiune Sugihara

The program of Sugihara Week 2018, running from September 3 through 9, includes concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, public lectures, creative workshops and other events to help people learn more about Oriental culture and friendship between Kaunas and Japan, the city's local authority said.

On Wednesday, Kaunas will host an international symposium on "Diplomats who Saved Jewish Lives", with speakers including guests from Israel, Japan, the US, Poland, the Netherlands, France and Germany.

The key highlights of the week include a ceremony of planting sakura trees on the city's Nemunas Island on Saturday, the authority said.

Japan's Vice-Consul Sugihara lived in Kaunas between 1939 and 1940. In cooperation with Dutch Honorary Consul Jan Zwartendijk, He issued thousands of "visas for lives", this helping at least 6,000 Jews to escape the Holocaust.

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