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World's oldest person dies aged 119 in Japan

An elderly Japanese woman, believed to be the oldest person on earth, has died at the age of 119.

Kane Tanaka was born 2 January 1903. This year saw the Wright Brothers’ first control flight of their motor-driven plane and Marie Curie becoming the first woman to win the Nobel Prize.

According to Guinness World Records, the Japanese supercentenarian who was 116 years old and 66 days old was confirmed to be the oldest living person in 2019.

On 19 April Japan’s public broadcaster NHK reported that the mother-of-five had died from old age in Fukuoka, Japan.

Image: Ms Tanaka enjoyed Othello, a board game, and math classes. Pic: Kyodo/AP

She also stated that chocolate and fizzy drinks were her favorite foods and she hoped to remain healthy until she reached 120 years.

Guinness World Records sent out a tweet saying that it was very sad to hear about her death. It said Ms Tanaka was “second oldest person ever recorded”, behind Jeanne Calment, who lived to the age 122.

She was the seventh child of eight and married Hideo Tanaka on 19-22. They had four children and adopted one.

More information about Japan

She was often up at 6am, and she enjoyed Othello and maths.

Ms Tanaka was supposed to participate in the torch relay at Tokyo Olympics, but she was prevented by the pandemic.

Read More: Kane Tanaka celebrates her 117th Birthday

Japan’s population is rapidly ageing and has been declining. The country was home to 86,510 centenarians as of September 2013. Nine out of 10 of them were women.

According to Statista, Japan’s 65-year-old population accounted for 28.4% of Japan’s total population in 2020.


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