Kane Tanaka officially announced as the wold’s oldest person after she turned 117, Reuters reported. Traditionally, Japan is known for its longevity with the longest-living citizens.
The 117-year-old Kate Tanaka has extended her record as the oldest person on the planet by celebrating her birthday on January 2 at a nursing home in Fukuoka, her native town.
Japan is known for the longest-living man and the current oldest living man also hailing from Japan. Tanaka marked her 117th birthday with a party on Sunday along with staff and friends at the nursing home. The local broadcaster TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co showed show Kate’s B-day party.
Tanaka took a bite from a slice of her big birthday cake and found it tasty. “I want some more,” she said with a smile.
Over the years, Mrs Tanaka used to be a celebrity in Japan. In 2019, she was confirmed by the Guinness World Records as the oldest living person as of March 9. In January 2020, Kate broke the longevity record.
Mrs Tanaka has five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren and says her secret to longevity is family, sleep and hope.
Japan is getting older
For Japan, despite its falling birthrate, another oldest person is another reason to be proud of is public health. Tanaka’s record age is symbolic of the country’s fast-ageing population, which coupled with its falling birthrate is raising concerns about labour shortages and prospects for future economic growth.
The number of babies born in Japan fell an estimated 5.9% 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.
Kate was born prematurely in 1903 and married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, GWR informs. Her parents had four children and adopted a fifth. In 2020, Kate Tanaka is just five years shy of becoming the oldest person who has ever lived, Jeanne Calment.