Square opens in Jerusalem in memory of Sugihara

A square in Jerusalem has been named after a late Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Jews during World War Two while working in Lithuania.

Sugihara Chiune issued transit visas for Jewish refugees fleeing persecution by Nazi Germany. About 6,000 Jews are believed to have been saved by what became known as "visas for life."

On Monday, about 70 people attended a ceremony to dedicate "Chiune Sugihara Square."

The participants included Sugihara's 72-year-old son Nobuki, who lives in Belgium, and Jewish people who were saved by the visas, along with their families.

A 94-year-old Jewish man said that in many parts of the world, important things are named after great people for what they did, and it's wonderful to have a place to remember Sugihara in a neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Sugihara's son said his father just did what he could do because he felt pity for Jewish people gathering outside the Japanese consulate.

He said his father probably never imagined that so many visa recipients would manage to survive, leading to tens of thousands of descendants.