ゲディミナス バルブオリス さん
- 人道の丘公園 モニュメント 南入口
Yaotsu City is the birthplace of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who served as vice consul in Kaunas, Lithuania. During the Second World War, Sugihara helped six thousand Jews flee Europe by issuing transit visas to them that they could travel through Japanese territory.The Lithuanian Parliament has approved an initiative to name 2020 the Year of Chiune Sugihara. Next year will mark the 80th anniversary of the Japanese diplomat’s noble work while he resided in Kaunas. It will also be a great chance to celebrate his 120th birthday. The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are a great chance to increase knowledge about Chiune Sugihara among Japanese people. I look forward to carrying the sacred flame of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which are a festival of peace, into Gifu Prefecture, the land of Chiune Sugihara.
"It is a start of another challenge for me." - I thought so when I heard the news of the postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay. Since I was invited to become a Torch runner in Yaotsu Town, Gifu Prefecture, one of the most important places in Japan for Lithuania, where friendship between our two countries is felt so strongly, I have always been looking forward to this Relay. I have been practicing hard to be ready for the planned date because I also felt that my family, my colleagues, and many Japanese people especially from Gifu were rooting for me. Once the 1-year postponement was announced, I thought that it would be a big challenge for me to continue striving towards the Relay, keeping social distance and other necessary precautions for another year. However, my will to run for people, who have been supporting and encouraging me so generously, did not change. Especially in Yaotsu Town, where the memory of Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved people's lives in Lithuania is cherished so much. Thinking of his legacies and lessons of humanity, I was encouraged not only as a diplomat, but also as a person. To show my appreciation to everyone I will do my very best in carrying the Olympic Torch in Yaotsu! I consider this invitation as one of the greatest honours that I received while serving my duties in Japan and will carry the Torch with great pride, on behalf of all Lithuanian people and for the purpose of a greater friendship between our two countries and for the memory of Chiune Sugihara!