and the truth shall make you free.

Japan that rescued Jews

The world in those days was cold to the Jews, as we can see in the case of the MS St. Louis, when they were sent back to Europe just before reaching the U.S. in 1939.

During the II World War, most of the nations of the world closed their doors to the Jewish refugees, while almost only Japan helped them.

As we can see in the fact that Japan proposed ‘Racial Equality Proposal’ to the league of nations for the first time in the world at the Paris Peace Conference, Japan made efforts to abolish racial discrimination as the national policy, and helped the Jewish refugees without any discrimination.

The result of the voting was 11 yes and 5 no. The majority was for this proposal. However, the chairman Woodrow Wilson declared that since it was not unanimous, this proposal would not be passed, although until then most of the decisions were done according to the majority.


Japan rescued Jews, even though Japan had to oppose Nazis.

During this situation, Chiune Sugihara(known as Sempo) rescued about 6000 Jewish refugees, which was one of many incidents where many groups of people, individuals, and national organizations helped the Jews.

Several years before the Sugihara Visas, Kiichiro Higuchi helped hundreds of Jewish refugees who were held up in Otporl which belonged to the Soviet Union.

Then Hideki Tojyo, The east squad chief of staff, a prime minister when the war was over, had given a permission to that activity and approved of it.

Nazis made a protest against Japan concerning this, but the Japanese government rejected that claim officially and made a statement to German Nazis that Japan will not do any racial discrimination.


Chiune Sugihara was known as a righteous man of the nations because of what he did, but it was because there was a achievement of Kiichiro Higuchi before that.


The foreign ministry gave a most convenience to the Jews who landed in Japan. The private organizations and Christian churches protected and helped the Jews greatly. In short, Japan helped the Jews, the public and private sectors together.


Many of the Jew refugees who landed in Japan escaped into Shanghai. ‘Japanese settlement’ in Shanghai which was occupied by Japan was the only nation which did not require visas to enter in those days. Therefore tens of thousands of Jew refugees escaped into that settlement and Japan protected them until the end of the war.




However, this part of the history is not to talked about openly. One of the main reasons for that is because the history view that ‘Japan is evil’ has been planted in the people because of the policy of the war guilt information.


Also another main reason is that the boss for Kiichiro Higuchi, Hideki Tojo, was a military man.

Especially Hideki Tojo was condemned greatly as a war criminal, as a prime minister when the war was over. If we dig out the fact in the history that Japan helped the Jews, there would be a need to review the history view that Japan was evil from the root. That is why the truth was buried from the history.


Besides, because of the fact that Japan and Germany were allied nations, many people tend to have a prejudice that Japan is also guilty of the Holocaust without considering much.



If Japan were a nation against Nazis, it may have been easy to make a protest against the policy of Nazis.

But Japan did not agree with the policy of Nazis, although Japan was in alliance with Nazis. Japan took an action against it, which must show that Japan had not participated in Holocaust in any way. And Japan should be given high recognition for that.