The world’s oldest person, Kane Tanaka turned 117 last January 2 at a nursing home in Fukuoka, southern Japan. According to the local media, Tanaka had a potent appetite and admiration for sweets. Kane Tanaka was acknowledged by Guinness World Records in the previous year as the oldest living human worldwide. Tanaka was a premature child and had five children; her fifth child was adopted. Local media stated that during World War II, Tanaka and her husband Hideo worked in a store selling shiruko and udon noodles. She retired from working at the age of 63, while her husband and son died during the war.

Her age is a symbol of the rapidly growing population of Japan. According to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the number of Japanese people aged over 90 reached two million for the first time in 2017 and doubled from 1.02 million in 2004 to 2.06 million. The population of Japanese elderly over 65 exceeded 35.14 million or 27.7% in 2017. However, the number of births fell to less than a million for the first time in 2016. The Independent stated that analysts linked Japan’s reduction population to young people concentrating on their occupations and refraining from marriage, while senior citizens have been living longer than before.