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Opinion

Sadako Ogata's legacy should restrain Shinzo Abe's military enthusiasm

Changing Japan's constitution betrays humanitarian example

| Japan
Sadako Ogata talks to a young refugee family from Myanmar at their camp in Thailand in October 2000: she represented Japan's boots-on-the-ground with a heart.    © Reuters

In late October I was preparing a lecture on gender diplomacy. It was 5 a.m. in Seoul and my audience would be women undergraduates from Ewha Womans University. I checked for updates on my social media and my heart sank. A friend had written: "Sad that she has passed away."

The comment was left below a 2015 photo of me, my university vice-president and Sadako Ogata at the United Nations University in Tokyo. My caption read: "It's been a lifelong dream to meet one of my heroines in international humanitarianism. No surprise, she's quite an excellent intellectual sparring partner."

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