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27 February 2024

Japan’s oldest person dies at age 113

By Agencies

Japan’s oldest person has died at a hospital in southwestern Japan, her nursing home said on Saturday. She was 113.


Tsuneyo Toyonaga, who became the country’s oldest person last August, died on Friday, days after she was transferred to a nearby hospital because she lost her appetite, said Masuko Yamamoto, deputy director of the Yume-no-Sato nursing home in the southern city of Nangoku.


Born on May 21, 1894, Toyonaga had been in the nursing home the last 12 years. She was a darling among caretakers and fellow residents, Yamamoto said.


“She was dozing off most of the day recently but when she was awake she used to enjoy singing children’s songs. Once she started singing she wouldn’t stop until we all got tired and had to stop her,” she said.


Toyonaga is survived by five children and 10 grandchildren, Kyodo News agency said.


Kaku Yamanaka, born on December 11, 1894, is now Japan’s oldest person, according to the Health and Welfare Ministry. She lives in a nursing home in Aichi, central Japan.


The number of Japanese living beyond 100 has almost quadrupled in the past 10 years and is soon expected to surpass 28,000.


Japan has one of the world’s longest average life spans – a factor often attributed to a healthy diet rich in fish and rice. In 2006 Japanese women set a new record for life expectancy at 85.81 years, while men live an average of about 79 years.


Edna Parker of Shelbyville, Indiana, is recognised as the world’s oldest person at age 114, according to The Guinness Book of Records. She was born on April 20, 1893. (AP)