Japan’s oldest woman dies at 119

(ORDO NEWS) — According to the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Kein Tanaka was the oldest person in the world to die in Japan at the age of 119.

Kane Tanaka, born January 2, 1903, died April 19, 2022, the ministry said on Monday.

Guinness World Records said it was saddened by the news of Ms. Tanaka’s passing and said the news of her death was confirmed by senior gerontology consultant Robert Young, who also helped confirm her record as the oldest person alive as early as 2019.

“She became the oldest person in January 2019 at 116 years and 28 days old,” Guinness World Records tweeted.

“She is also the second oldest person ever recorded, behind only Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122.”

Tanaka’s family said in a tweet earlier this month that she had been sick a lot lately.

Tanaka married a rice shop owner at the age of 19 and worked in the family shop until she was 103. She is a cancer survivor twice and lived through many historical events, surviving two world wars and the Spanish flu of 1918, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

CNN previously reported on Tanaka as she prepared to compete in the Olympic torch relay ahead of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

The idea was for her to take the flame as it passed through Shime, in her home prefecture of Fukuoka, but she ultimately did not participate due to concerns about COVID-19.

Japanese Ken Tanaka received the title of the oldest person on Earth, celebrating his 116th birthday.

Tanaka lived in a nursing home in Fukuoka. Her family said she developed her intelligence through math and was inquisitive.

Government data released in July 2020 showed that women have a life expectancy of 87.45 years compared to 81.4 for men.

In announcing Tanaka’s death on their website, Guinness World Records officials stated that “the titles of oldest living person and oldest living person (female) are currently being established” and that further details will be announced in due course.

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