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International relations

Japanese women shatter glass ceiling at UN, Sadako Ogata style

Organization offers opportunities not available in Japan

TOKYO -- Sadako Ogata's contribution to the world was not limited to helping millions of displaced people as the head of the United Nations refugee agency. She also inspired many younger Japanese women to follow suit and fulfill professional ambitions on the world stage.

Ogata, who died in October, was the first woman to serve as the U.N. high commissioner for refugees. Footage of Ogata in a bulletproof jacket visiting war-torn regions during her tenure helped drive home the message that the organization offered opportunities not readily available to women in Japan.

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