According to the data released by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry of Japan, the island nation consists of 80,450 people aged 100 or older, and this is the first time that the number of centenarians has surpassed 80,000. This is the 50th consecutive year when there has been an increase in this number.
The statistics show that the number of centenarians have by 9,176 from last year, the biggest rise till date. Interestingly, women account for around 88.2 per cent of this total number.
Shimane prefecture in western Japan gained the unique distinction of having the highest number of centenarians per 100,000 people for the eighth straight year at 127.60. This was followed by Kochi and Tottori at 119.77 and 109.89 respectively.
Japan began the process of documenting data of the number of centenarians in 1963. At that time, the number was a mere 153. However, due to the advancements in medical facilities and technology, that number increased to 10,000 by 1988.
According to the data released by the government in July this year, the life expectancy in Japan is also at an all time high – the life expectancy for women is 87.45 years while that for men is 81.41 years.
The oldest man in Japan is Mikizo Ueda, a 110-year-old resident of Nara while the oldest woman is Kane Tanaka, a 117-year-old resident of Fukuoka. She has also been listed by the Guinness World Records as the oldest living person in the world.
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