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Centenarians top 70,000 in Japan’s graying population

  • September 13, 2019
  • , Kyodo News , 2:02 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — The number of people aged 100 or older in Japan has exceeded 70,000 for the first time after marking an increase for the 49th consecutive year in the aging society whose birth rate remains low, government data showed Friday.


Women centenarians vastly outnumber the men, accounting for 88.1 percent of the total 71,238. The figure represents a roughly 23-fold increase from a centenarian population of 3,078 in 1989, according to the data released by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare ahead of Monday’s national holiday in Japan for Respect-for-the-Aged Day.


The number of females who will have reached 100 years of age by Sunday totals 62,775, up 1,321 from last year. The number of such men is 8,463, an increase of 132.


Kane Tanaka, a 116-year-old resident of Fukuoka, is the oldest Japanese. Born in January 1903, she is acknowledged as the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records.


Chitetsu Watanabe, a 112-year-old resident of Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture, is the oldest Japanese man.


By prefectures, Tokyo has 6,059 centenarians, followed by Kanagawa at 3,933 and Osaka at 3,648.


Japan’s average life expectancy was 87.32 for women and 81.25 for men in 2018.

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