World’s oldest person dies aged 119 in Japan

Source: ABC News

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A Japanese woman believed to have been the world’s oldest person has died aged 119, according to Japan’s public broadcaster.

NHK reported on Monday the death of Kane Tanaka, who was born on January 2, 1903.

She died of old age at a hospital in Fukuoka city in western Japan on April 19, according to the broadcaster.

Ms Tanaka was recognised by Guinness World Records in 2019 as the world’s oldest living person.

At the time, she said she had loved playing the board game Othello and studying mathematics.

According to a tweet posted by her family on April 13, 2022, she had recently been “hospitalised and discharged repeatedly”, but was still enjoying chocolate and fizzy drinks.

Ms Tanaka was the seventh of eight children in her family.

She married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, with whom she had four children and adopted another child.

Ms Tanaka was selected as one of the torchbearers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay but pulled out due to COVID-19 concerns.

She did not live to become the oldest person ever — that achievement sits with French woman Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to 122 years of age, according to Guinness World Records.

The records organisation said it was “sad to report” Ms Tanaka’s death, and sent its condolences to her family.

The titles of oldest person living and oldest living female are now being investigated, Guinness World Records said.