TOKYO, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Japan's first United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Sadako Ogata has died at the age of 92, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

According to those with knowledge of the matter, the details of Ogata's death were not immediately known, although the respected public administrator died on Oct. 22.

A Tokyo native born in 1927, Ogata in this role for the UN beginning in 1991, the first for a woman, visited a number of conflict zones, leading missions to help those displaced internally and externally, including refugees from Iraq after the Gulf War.

During her time in this role through 2000, she was also a key figure in helping refugees suffering during and after the turmoil in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

Ogata, in her earlier career, is widely credited with initiating a key policy change involving people internally displaced by conflicts to the refugee agency's mandate.

Ogata was known as a gutsy individual who on numerous occasions visited conflict zones and areas in crisis of her own volition, to see and assess the plight of internal and external refugees involved firsthand, who had invariably been driven from their homes due to harsh situations and protracted clashes and turmoil.

Prior to these endeavors, Ogata became the first Japanese female minister at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations.

From 2003-2012, Ogata served as the first President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), where she initiated making humanitarian provisions for crisis-hit countries including South Sudan and Afghanistan.

Having spent time in both China and the United States in her formative years, Ogata graduated from the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo.

Her higher education in the United States saw her obtained a master's degrees from Georgetown University and a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.