• Kyodo

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Mayumi Moriyama, Japan’s first and so far only female chief Cabinet secretary, has died, the House of Representatives said Monday. She was 93.

While serving as the top government spokeswoman, Moriyama made headlines in 1990 when she tried to present a trophy to a sumo champion in the ring — traditionally off-limits to women — and was stopped by the Japan Sumo Association.

A graduate of the University of Tokyo, she was first elected to the House of Councilors in 1980 after working as a bureau chief at the then-Labor Ministry, and switched to the House of Representatives in 1996.

After her stint as chief Cabinet secretary for Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, which lasted for about six months from 1989 to 1990, Moriyama worked as both education and justice minister.

She announced her retirement from politics in August 2009 after the Liberal Democratic Party refused to put her on its proportional representation list for the general election later that month. She was 81 at the time.

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