Israel has named a street in the coastal city of Netanya after the late Japanese diplomat Chiune Sempo Sugihara, who worked to save Jews fleeing the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Japanese diplomat Chiune Sempo Sugihara issued transit visas to thousands of Jews during World War II, which later came to be known as “visas for life.”

The Japan Times reported that’s many of those saved by Sugihara ultimately came to reside in Netanya. The street dedication marks 30 years since Sugihara’s death.

“It’s such an honor. I wish my father was here,” said Sugihara’s fourth son, Nobuki, 67, in Israel.

Ahead of the ceremony, he met with some 50 local residents who survived, thanks to his father, who issued the visas as vice consul at a Japanese Consulate Kovno, Lithuania’s capital. He provided between 2,100 and 3,500 transit visas.

In 1984 Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, recognized Sugihara as Righteous Among the Nations.

By: United with Israel Staff