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On the Group of 20 summit stage next to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Haruno Yoshida held her head high. She was dressed in a sleek black pantsuit and her trademark stiletto. I said to her later that day, “Yoshida-san, you looked great on the stage, especially with those shoes. l wish I could walk in high heels as elegantly as you can.” With a mischievous smile, she told me that she would give me special training for walking in stiletto sometime.

It didn’t occur to me at the time that this giggly exchange of words was going to be my last conversation with her. Yoshida passed away from heart failure on June 30, the day after she presented at the G20 conference the report that she had worked on as the chair of the Women 20 committee. She was 55 years old.

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