KATHMANDU: Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei, who is the first woman to climb Mt Everest, died of peritoneal cancer on Thursday morning, the Japanese national news agency, Kyodo, reported. She was 77.
Tabei breathed her last at a Saitama hospital.
The legendary mountaineer had scaled the world’s highest peak Mount Everest (8,848 metres) at the age of 35 in 1975.
Tabei reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain in 1975. In 1992, she also became the first woman to complete the “Seven Summits,” reaching the highest peaks of the seven continents.
Tabei scaled peaks in more than 60 countries, Japan’s Kyodo News agency said.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK said she continued climbing even after being diagnosed with cancer four years ago.
Meanwhile, Nepal said it was shocked by learning the demise.
“We are shocked by the untimely demise of Junko Tabei on Thursday, which was publicly announced today,” Acting Nepali Ambassador to Japan Krishna Prasad Aryal said, “She was Nepal’s good friend as well as world famous summitter of Mt Everest.”
“She had been actively engaged to further strengthen our bilateral relations especially in the field of tourism and culture,” he added.