Dear Ms. Sadako Ogata,

Your recent passing has caused a great deal of sadness of individuals from all over the world, including myself. Your accomplishments in the United Nations as the first Japanese individual to be the high commissioner for refugees served as an inspiration for not only those who sought your aid but also for women around the world. 

Specifically, your courage to speak your mind and oppose formidable individuals in difficult, political debates gave me courage as a Japanese woman. Although our country is known for its Asian patriarchic culture, you never hesitated to use the power of your words and actions. From your push for further aid for refugees amidst the Persian Gulf War to your debate with Boutros Boutros-Ghali regarding relief to Bosnia, you were never afraid to hold firm with your beliefs and what you believed was right.

Thank you for everything you have contributed to the world. We will miss you so much, I hope you are now at peace. The world is in a much better place because of your actions.


Asumi Shuda