World's oldest person, Kane Tanaka, celebrates 119th birthday in Japan

WION Web Team
Tokyo, Japan Published: Jan 03, 2022, 05:54 PM(IST)

Japanese woman Kane Tanaka Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Tanaka was born on 2 January 1903, the year when the Wright brothers launched humanity's first powered flight

Kane Tanaka has extended her record as the world’s oldest person by celebrating her 119th birthday at a nursing home in Fukuoka in southern Japan.

Tanaka marked her birthday with a party along with staff and friends at the nursing home, television footage from local broadcaster TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co showed.

Also read | Japanese woman confirmed as world's oldest person at 116

Eiji, Tanaka's 62-year-old grandson, said he hoped that she remains “healthy and has fun everyday as she grows older.”

Japan has one of the world's highest life expectancies and has been home to several people recognised as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.

They include Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.

Also read | Guinness world record crowns 112-year-old Japanese man oldest man alive

Tanaka’s record age is symbolic of Japan’s fast-ageing population, which coupled with its falling birthrate is raising concerns about labor shortages and prospects for future economic growth.

The number of babies born in Japan fell an estimated 5.9 per cent last year to fewer than 900,000 for the first time since the government started compiling data in 1899, according to Japan’s welfare ministry.

Tanaka was born on 2 January 1903, the year when the Wright brothers launched humanity's first powered flight, according to Guinness.

She married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, giving birth to four children and adopting a fifth.

Kane normally wakes each morning at 6 am and passes the afternoons by studying mathematics and practicing calligraphy. 

"One of Kane's favourite pastimes is a game of Othello and she's become an expert at the classic board game, often beating rest-home staff," Guinness said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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