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Shizue Kato, one of the first Japanese women to become a Diet member and a pioneer of women’s rights in Japan — particularly known for her advocacy of birth control — died Saturday from respiratory failure at a relative’s house in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward, her family said. She was 104.

In 1998, at the age of 91, Kato became the first Japanese to win the United Nations Population Award for her contribution to the family planning movement.

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