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World’s oldest person dies in Japan at 119

TOKYO (AFP) – A Japanese woman certified the world’s oldest person has died at the age of 119, local officials said yesterday.

Kane Tanaka was born January 2, 1903, in the southwestern Fukuoka region of Japan, the same year the Wright brothers flew for the first time and Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.

Tanaka was in relatively good health until recently and lived at a nursing home, where she enjoyed board games, solving maths problems, soda and chocolate.

In her younger years, Tanaka ran various businesses including a noodle shop and a rice cake store. She married Hideo Tanaka a century ago in 1922, giving birth to four children and adopting a fifth.

She planned to use a wheelchair to take part in the torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, but the pandemic prevented her from doing so.

When the Guinness World Records recognised her as the oldest person alive in 2019, she was asked what moment she was the most happy in life. Her answer: “Now.”

Local governor Seitaro Hattori hailed Tanaka’s life after she passed away on April 19.

The world’s oldest person, Kane Tanaka. PHOTO: AP
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