In 1999, as a result of the joint effort of the intellectuals and the businessmen from Lithuania and Belgium – prof. Egidijus Aleksandravičius, politician and businessman Ramūnas Garbaravičius and businessman Freddie Opsomer, the public institution "The Sugihara Foundation – Diplomats for Life" was established.
The initiators of the foundation were seeking to unite the intellectual efforts and available funds in order to properly commemorate the name of the Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara.
The name of Sugihara along with the name of the Dutch consul Jan Zwartendijk as well as the other diplomats who were not afraid to save thousands of lives of the European Jews, reminds the present generations about the threats hiding inside the human nature, and sets a good example of kindness and righteousness.
The initiators of the foundation are seeking:
In order to successfully implement it's ideas, the Fund is collaborating with the Vytautas Magnus University. The University’s Centre for Asian Studies is located in the Sugihara House.
The relationship with various Japanese organizations, such as Lithuanian-Japanese association has been established and is successfully maintained. There is also a steady communication with the Japanese universities as well as cultural, business and administrative institutions. The Sugihara foundation and the museum are visited by numerous delegations of businessmen, cultural agents and politicians not only from Japan but also from other countries. The foundation and the museum were also visited by the widow of Mr. Sugihara, Yukiko Sugihara, the Japanese ambassadors in Lithuania. The Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso, Vice Minister Shigeo Uetake, the Chairman of the Israeli Parliament Reuven Rivlin, the USA ambassadors and others.
The Board of Members:
Mr. Ramūnas Garbaravičius
Prof. Egidijus Aleksandravičius
Mr. Arvydas Garbaravičius
Prof. Irena Veisaitė
Dr. Linas Venclauskas
Doc. Linas Tuleikis
Mr. Henrikas Gulbinas
Prof. Šarūnas Liekis
Mr. Andrius Navickas
Honorary Board Members:
H. E. Kazuko Shiaraishi
Mr. Freddy Opsomer
Mr. Nobuki Sugihara