The population of Japanese centenarians will hit a record-high 13,036 this month, and the number of women at least 100 years old will top 10,000 for the first time, a Health and Welfare Ministry survey showed Friday.
The annual poll tallying Japanese who will be 100 or older by the end of September was conducted Sept. 1. The survey, undertaken to mark Respect for the Aged Day on Sept. 15, excludes Japanese nationals living overseas.
The figure will be 1,690 more than a year before and up 2,878 from September 1998, when the centenarian population exceeded 10,000 for the first time, according to the survey.
The number of women centenarians, 10,878, or 83.4 percent of the total, will be 4.2 times the figure 10 years ago, while that of male centenarians, 2,158, will be 3.2 times.
“The tendency of women to live long was clearly shown” in the survey, a ministry official said.
The number of centenarians per 100,000 people will also post a new record of 10.29, up from 8.97 a year earlier.
By prefecture, Okinawa will have boasted the largest proportion of centenarians for 11 years in a row with 30.56 per 100,000, followed by Shimane at 30.10 and Kochi at 29.51.
The top 10 prefectures include Kochi, Kumamoto, Kagoshima, Yamaguchi, Ehime, Saga, Hiroshima and Okayama.
Saitama Prefecture will have the smallest proportion of centenarians, also for the 11th straight year, at 4.57 per 100,000, followed by Ibaraki at 5.53 and Aichi at 5.84.
Kamato Hongo of Kagoshima, who will turn 113 on Sept. 16, is the oldest person in Japan.
Sapporo’s Mie Ishiguro, 112, is the second-oldest, also for the second straight year, followed by Matsuno Oikawa, 111, from Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture.
In fourth is Yukichi Chuganji, 111, from Ogori, Fukuoka Prefecture. He is the oldest man in Japan.
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