TOKYO – Kane Tanaka, the oldest living woman from southwestern Japan, would be 115 years and 258 days on Friday, and according to the Gerontology Research Group, also the oldest in the world.
Masazo Nonaka, aged 113 years and 54 days, lives in Ashoro and is currently the world’s oldest man according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Japan’s centenarian population reached a record 69,785 as of September, with 88.1 percent of them being women, the government said on Friday, attributing the historic high to medical advances and increased health awareness.
The figure rose by 2,014 persons from last year and is almost seven times higher than two decades ago, according to a report prepared by the ministry of health, labor and welfare to mark the upcoming Respect-for-the Aged Day, held on the third Monday of September.
Among the people who were over 100 years, 61,454 were women while 8,331 were men, including former prime minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, who turned 100 in May.
The number of centenarians has increased continuously since 1971, and the ministry expects the trend to continue, the report said.
The number of people above the age of 100 is expected to cross 100,000 in five years and 170,000 in a decade, according to an estimate by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.