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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Jews Honor Japan Hero

TOKYO () -- Several dozen Jews who were among thousands saved from the Nazi Holocaust by a Japanese diplomat arrived in Tokyo on Monday to honor the memory of the man who helped them escape.

Chiune Sugihara issued 2,000 Japanese visas to Polish Jews in 1940 when he was at the Japanese consulate in Lithuania's former capital, Kaunas.

The Jews had fled the German invasion of Poland a year earlier but were stranded in Lithuania with no Western nation willing to grant them visas.

Sugihara, who signed the visas against the orders of his government, was dismissed from the foreign service when he eventually returned to Tokyo in 1945. He died in 1986.

He has been dubbed "Japan's Schindler" in comparison to Oskar Schindler, the German businessman who saved over a thousand Polish Jews from the gas chambers.

The Jewish group, numbering 35, will visit Sugihara's home town of Yaotsu in central Japan on Friday.