Diplomat Chiune Sugihara (1900-1986), known as the “Japanese Schindler,” worked at the Upper House after leaving the Foreign Ministry, newly found documents show.

The finding is significant as it sheds light on Sugihara's exit from the ministry and his career after he issued in Lithuania “visas for life” to thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing Europe during World War II.

The Chiune Sugihara Memorial Foundation in Tokyo announced the discovery on Oct. 21.

Some researchers and others have believed that Sugihara was dismissed by the Foreign Ministry because he issued the visas, but ministry officials have insisted, “It is hard to confirm the reason for him leaving his job.”

In late July, the secretariat of the Upper House of the Diet found a resume Sugihara submitted to the Upper House and a performance record of his work there, the foundation run by Sugihara’s family and related parties said.

In 1940, Sugihara, as consul at the Japanese Consulate in Lithuania, issued transit visas through Japan to Jewish refugees to help them escape persecution by the Nazis. He is believed to have saved about 6,000 lives.

He returned to Japan in April 1947 and left the Foreign Ministry. He drifted from job to job afterward.

On the resume, Sugihara wrote his reason for leaving the ministry was “voluntary.”

But he also wrote that he expected to “be subjected to work force reductions upon administrative reform in March (1947).”

This indicates that after Sugihara issued the visas, the ministry scheduled him to be terminated prior to his return to Japan as part of restructuring.

The newly discovered documents show Sugihara then took a job in the Upper House as a director in a documentation section, serving there from February to October 1949.