Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Sadako Ogata

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Preceded by  Thorvald Stoltenberg
Spouse  Shijuro Ogata (m. ?–2014)
Religion  Roman Catholicism
Succeeded by  Ruud Lubbers
Name  Sadako Ogata
Children  Atsushi Ogata
Role  Diplomat

Sadako Ogata Sadako Ogata Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Full Name  中村 貞子 (Nakamura Sadako)
Born  16 September 1927 (age 88) Tokyo, Japan (1927-09-16)
Alma mater  University of the Sacred Heart Georgetown University
Books  The Turbulent Decade: Confronting the Refugee Crises of the 1990s
Education  Georgetown University, University of California, Berkeley, University of the Sacred Heart
Awards  Indira Gandhi Prize, J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding

the idea of service sadako ogata looks back

Sadako Ogata, née Nakamura (緒方 貞子, Ogata Sadako, born 16 September 1927) is a Japanese academic, diplomat, author, administrator, and professor emeritus at Sophia University. She is widely known as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from 1991 to 2000, as well as in her capacities as the Chairman of the UNICEF Executive Board and as the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). She was a lecturer of the International Christian University (ICU), and is now the advisor of the Executive Committee of the Model United Nations (present day Japan Model United Nations, JMUN) as the founder of the Model United Nations in Japan.


Sadako Ogata UNHCR Sadako Ogata Japan 19912000

Press conference highlights from icpd cairo including unhcr sadako ogata 1994

Early and academic life

Sadako Ogata African leaders do not take us for granted insists

Ogata was born on 16 September 1927 to a career diplomat father Toyoichi Nakamura, who was the Japanese ambassador to Finland. Her mother was the daughter of Foreign Minister Kenkichi Yoshizawa and granddaughter of Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi, who was assassinated when Sadako was four years old.

Sadako Ogata Sadako Ogata

She attended the Catlin Gabel School, class of 1946, and graduated from the University of the Sacred Heart (a Catholic university in Tokyo) with a bachelor's degree in English Literature. After that, she studied abroad at Georgetown University and its Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in the US for a master's degree in International Relations. It was not common for a Japanese woman to study abroad at that time in Japan, even though the democratic days came after the end of WWII in Asia following the surrender of Japan. She wanted to study the causes of Japan's defeat in war at a university in the US. She was awarded a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963, after she completed a research report on the policy formation of the foundation of Manchukuo by Japan in 1931. The report provided some clues to the causes of the Japanese invasion in China, which led to the defeat. In 1965, she became a lecturer at International Christian University. After 1980, she taught international politics at Sophia University as a professor and later became the Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Studies until she left to join the UNHCR in 1991.


Sadako Ogata Sadako Ogata Wikipedia

In 1960, Nakamura married Shijuro Ogata (1927–2014), a son of Taketora Ogata who was also an official of the Bank of Japan and later became its Executive Director. After the marriage, her name changed to Sadako Ogata. She has one son (Atsushi Ogata, a movie creator) and one daughter.


Sadako Ogata Japanese diplomat earns Rotary alumni award Rotary International

Ogata was appointed to a position as a Japanese member of the UN mission in 1968, on the recommendation of Fusae Ichikawa, a member of the House of Councillors of Japan and a famous woman activist who thought highly of Ogata. After that, she represented Japan at several sessions of the UN General Assembly in 1970. In addition, she served from 1978–79 as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at the permanent mission of Japan to the UN, and as the Chairman of the UNICEF Executive Board.

In 1990, she was nominated and appointed as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She left the position of professor (political science) at Sophia University in Tokyo, quickly moved to Geneva, and started her new position at the UNHCR. The presumed term at UNHCR was only about three years, namely, the remaining days of the abruptly left predecessor's term. After arrival at the post in 1991, however, her leadership and active works led to her staying from 1991 until 2001.

After 2001, she was appointed as the co-chairperson of UN Human Security Commission and she engaged in the reminiscences of her works for the refugees at home in New York. After the September 11 attacks, in 2002, she was chosen as Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Japan on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan in order to support the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Next year, going back to Tokyo, the Japanese Government appointed her as the president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on 1 October 2003. Though she was over 70 years old, she was appointed as the post due to her abilities and her leadership. It was reported that young JICA officials expressed their strong hope for her inauguration, even before the formal appointment. She continued to work as the president of JICA for more than two terms (over eight years), retiring in April 2012 to be succeeded by Akihiko Tanaka.

She was a member of The Advisory Council on the Imperial House Law which was settled as Junichiro Koizumi the Prime Minister's private advisory organ which belonged to the Cabinet Office on November 27, 2014. The conferences of the council were held in 17 times from January 25, 2005 to discuss the Japanese succession controversy and the Imperial Household Act. On 24 November 2005, The Advisory Council submitted the report including the approval of not only female imperial ruler but also female lineage imperial ruler, and the primogeniture with priority for succession of the Emperor. Her alma mater is the same as the Empress Michiko's, the University of the Sacred Heart.

A "Reception for Respecting Mrs. Sadako Ogata's Contributions to Our Country and the International Community" was held by Kōichirō Genba, Minister for Foreign Affairs on April 17, 2012, in Tokyo. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda gave the greeting to her. He said that "Because of the 2011 Tōhoku 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". Ogata is an Eminent Person of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation.

Japanese decorations

  • 2001 Person of Cultural Merit
  • 2003 Order of Culture
  • Other

  • 1994 Prize For Freedom by the Liberal International
  • 1995 Liberty Medal
  • 1997 Ramon Magsaysay Award
  • 2000 Seoul Peace Prize
  • 2001 Order of Friendship of Russia
  • 2001 Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Commander Crosse
  • 2001 Commander of the Légion d'honneur
  • 2001 Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
  • 2001 Commander First Class of the Order of the Polar Star of Sweden
  • 2001 Indira Gandhi Prize
  • 2002 Fulbright Prize for International Understanding
  • 2005 World Citizenship Award
  • 2006 Grand Officer (Maringal na Pinuno) of the Order of Lakandula of the Philippines
  • 2008 Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau of the Netherlands
  • 2011 Honorary Dame Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (DCMG)
  • 2011 Medal of the Friendship of Nations (Danaker Medal) of Kyrgyzstan
  • 2013 Band of the Orden del Águila Azteca
  • 2013 Grand Cross of the Order of Sikatuna, Rank of Datu
  • Quotes

  • "If we ignore the plight of the refugees or the burden of the countries which have received them, I fear we will pay a heavy toll in renewed violence. Conditions must be created urgently to allow the refugees to go back and live in peace and tolerance in their own country." — Liberty Medal acceptance speech, 4 July 1995
  • References

    Sadako Ogata Wikipedia