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Japanese woman in Fukuoka Prefecture celebrates 117th birthday with party at nursing home

Kane Tanaka, the world's oldest person who turned 117 on Thursday, is center of attention at a party to mark the event held Sunday at the nursing home where she lives in the city of Fukuoka. | KYODO. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

FUKUOKA, Jan 6, 2020, The Japan Times. Kane Tanaka has extended her record as the world’s oldest person by celebrating her 117th birthday at a nursing home in the city of Fukuoka, The Japan Times reported.

Tanaka marked her birthday, on Jan. 2, with a party Sunday together with staff and friends at the nursing home, television footage from local broadcaster TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co. showed.

“Tasty,” she said with a smile as she took a bite from a slice of a big birthday cake. “I want some more.”

Last year Tanaka was confirmed as the oldest living person, at 116 years and 66 days old as of March 9, according to Guinness World Records.

She was born prematurely in 1903 and married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, the organization said. The couple had four children and adopted a fifth.

Tanaka’s record age is seen as symbolic of Japan’s fast-aging population, which, coupled with its falling birthrate, is raising concerns about labor shortages and prospects for future economic growth.

The number of babies born in Japan fell an estimated 5.9 percent last year to fewer than 900,000 for the first time since the government started compiling data in 1899, according to the welfare ministry.

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