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Former diplomat and haiku poet Sonoo Uchida died Saturday of colon cancer, his family said Monday. He was 85.

He served as Japan’s ambassador to the Vatican, Senegal and Morocco. Devoting himself to spreading haiku, he worked as an art critic and became the first president of the Haiku International Association in 1989.

His works include a haiku collection published in Italian, a haiku guidebook in French and the book “Cezanne no e” (“Paintings of Cezanne”) in Japanese.

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