WORLD : Japanese Chosen for Refugee Job

From Times Wire Services

Sadako Ogata, 65, a Japanese professor of foreign relations with experience in the U.N. Children’s Fund, has been nominated as U.N. high commissioner for refugees, diplomatic sources said today.

She would replace Thorvald Stoltenberg, who recently resigned to become deputy prime minister of Norway.

The reported move could end a long and controversial search for the next refugee chief. Several developed nations, including the United States, have been at odds with U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar over the appointment.

She would be the first woman to hold the post, which traditionally has been held by Westerners, including many high-profile politicians and fund-raisers.