• JIJI, Staff Report


Kane Tanaka, who is recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living person, reached the age of 117 years and 261 days on Saturday to become Japan’s oldest person on record.

The Fukuoka woman surpassed the age of Nabi Tajima, a resident of Kikai, Kagoshima Prefecture, who died in 2018 at the age of 117 years and 260 days, according to the welfare ministry and others.

Tanaka, a big fan of soda and chocolate, was born in the former village of Wajiro, now part of the city of Fukuoka, on Jan. 2, 1903. She now lives in a seniors care home in the city.

On Saturday, Fukuoka Prefecture sent commemorative gifts to Tanaka and a congratulatory certificate from Gov. Hiroshi Ogawa through the staff of her care home. She looked happy as she put a blanket over her knees made of Kurume Gasuri, a traditional cotton fabric from the southern part of the prefecture, that was sent to her as a gift, according to the staff.

Fukuoka Mayor Soichiro Takashima issued a statement expressing his respect for Tanaka who has lived in each of the Meiji, Taisho, Showa, Heisei and Reiwa eras and has had a great variety of life experiences. He also wished for her good health.

Tanaka is now the third-oldest person on record, surpassed only by French woman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122, and American Sarah Knauss, who died in 1999 at age 119.

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