Friday 17 January 2020

117 candles: World's oldest person enjoys her cake

Kane Tanaka, born in 1903, smiles as a nursing home celebrates three days after her 117th birthday in Fukuoka. Photo: REUTERS
Kane Tanaka, born in 1903, smiles as a nursing home celebrates three days after her 117th birthday in Fukuoka. Photo: REUTERS

Kane Tanaka has extended her record as the world's oldest person by celebrating her 117th birthday at a nursing home in Fukuoka in southern Japan.

Ms Tanaka marked her birthday with a party yesterday along with staff and friends at the nursing home.

Ms Tanaka, whose birthday was on January 2, took a bite from a slice of her big birthday cake.

"Tasty," she said with a smile. "I want some more."

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Ms Tanaka was last year confirmed as the oldest living person, aged 116 years 66 days old as of March 9, according to Guinness World Records.

Her record age is symbolic of Japan'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 5.9pc 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.

Ms Tanaka was born prematurely in 1903 and married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, Guinness World Records said. The couple had four children and adopted a fifth.

Irish Independent

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