Chiune Sugihara was the Japanese ambassador to Lithuania beginning in 1939. In 1940, Jews began to come to him for visas to Japan to get out of Europe. Japan told him he may NOT write a visa for anyone unless that had a visa to another country to go to after Japan. He ignored these, and wrote as many visas as he could. Estimates are that he saved over 6,000 lives, including my friend's father.
Wikipedia entry: Chiune_Sugihara
Article from the Jewish Virtual Library: Holocaust/sugihara.html