22 Facts About Sadako Ogata


Sadako Ogata, nee Nakamura, was a Japanese academic, diplomat, author, administrator, and professor emerita at the Roman Catholic Sophia University.


Sadako Ogata was widely known as the head of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1991 to 2000, as well as in her capacities as Chair of the UNICEF Executive Board from 1978 to 1979 and as President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency from 2003 to 2012.


Sadako Ogata served as Advisor of the Executive Committee of the Japan Model United Nations.


Sadako Ogata was born on 16 September 1927 to a career diplomat father Toyoichi Nakamura and her original name was Sadako Nakamura.


Sadako Ogata's mother was a daughter of Foreign Minister Kenkichi Yoshizawa and granddaughter of Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi, who was assassinated when she was four years old, due to his opposition to Japanese militarism, whose assassination marked the end of civilian control over the Japanese military until after World War II.


Sadako Ogata was born in Tokyo, Japan and, due to her father's profession, she lived in the US from 4 to 8 years old, lived in China from 8 to 10 during the Japanese occupation when her father was Japanese consul in Guangzhou and Hong Kong before the family went back to Japan.


Sadako Ogata stayed in Japan during World War II and after the war, she graduated from the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo with a bachelor's degree in English Literature.


Sadako Ogata wanted to study the reason why Japan entered a reckless aggression war, which was not put a brake on after the assassination of her great-grandfather, Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi.


Sadako Ogata was awarded a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963, after she completed a dissertation on the politics behind the foundation of Manchukuo.


Sadako Ogata represented Japan at several sessions of the UN General Assembly in 1970.


Sadako Ogata was the first woman to be appointed as a head of the UNHCR.


Sadako Ogata left Sophia University to start her new position at UNHCR.


Sadako Ogata's presumed term at UNHCR was only three years, which was the remaining term of her predecessor who had left after only one year, but she continued to be assigned.


Sadako Ogata was re-elected twice, and served, over a decade, until 2001.


Sadako Ogata was a practical leader who deployed military forces in the humanitarian operations, for example at the siege of Sarajevo, the Airlift Operations in cooperation with some European air forces during the Bosnian War.


Sadako Ogata led JICA with her emphasis on ideas from fields and Human Security.


Sadako Ogata built up peace-building projects on Afghanistan and Mindanao.


Sadako Ogata continued to work as president of JICA for more than two terms, retiring in April 2012 to be succeeded by Akihiko Tanaka.


Sadako Ogata was a member of The Advisory Council on the Imperial House Law on 27 November 2014.


Sadako Ogata said "Because of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the offers of assistance to Japan from more than 160 countries and more than 40 international organizations were NOT irrelevant to Mrs Sadako Ogata's achievements".


Sadako Ogata was involved in the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation.


In 1960, she married Shijuro Sadako Ogata, a son of Taketora Sadako Ogata, who was an official of the Bank of Japan and later became its executive director.