Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signs a guest book as he visits a former home of Chiune Sugihara, a Jew-saving Japanese diplomat in Kaunas, Lithuania January 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Sunday honored a Japanese diplomat credited with saving an estimated 6,000 Jews from almost certain death in 1940 at a visit to the former Japanese consulate in Lithuania.Abe's visit to Lithuania, the first by a Japanese prime minister, comes as Japan seeks greater cooperation with countries such as China, a former adversary in World War Two, in the face of rising tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.Sugihara was named as "Righteous among the Nations" by Israel's Yad Vashem museum among some 22,000 people honored for helping Jews avoid death in the Nazi Holocaust.He issued thousands of Japanese transit visas to Jewish refugees in July and August 1940, opening a route for them to escape through Russia to Japan.
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