In August 1939, Sugihara was posted to Lithuania's then capital Kaunas as Deputy Consul. Soon after that, World War II broke out and Europe was engulfed in the flames of war.
Poland, then the largest Jewish community in Europe, was divided and occupied by Germany from the west and the Soviet Union from the east. Polish Jews were forced to flee from persecution by two powerful states.
Some of these Jewish refugees rushed to Sugihara for a "Japanese transit visa". Many of them did not meet the visa requirements. Mr Sugihara made inquiries to his home country many times, but they were not accepted. Seeing the Jewish refugees facing a crisis, Sugihara decided to issue the visas at his disposition without consideration of his interest.
It was a big decision based on humanitarianism.
It is said that the visas issued by Sugihara saved as many as 6,000 lives, and they are called the "Visa for Life".