Japanese woman turns 117 years old, extends record as world's oldest person

Kane 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.
Kane 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.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS/YOUTUBE

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Mrs 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.

She marked her birthday with a party on Sunday (Jan 5) along with staff and friends at the nursing home, television footage from local broadcaster TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co showed.

Mrs Tanaka, whose birthday was on Jan 2, took a bite from a slice of her big birthday cake. "Tasty," she said with a smile. "I want some more."

She 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 5.9 per cent 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.

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