Japan has 86,510 people aged over 100, a new record, according to data released this Wednesday by the Japanese Ministry of Health, in a country where the number of centenarians has quintupled since 2000.

The numbers, released on the occasion of the Day of Respect for the Elderly, which is marked next Monday, represent an increase of 6060 people compared to the previous year, according to information provided by the Ministry, cited by the agency Efe.

Women continue to be the overwhelming majority of centenarians, representing 88% of the total (76,450 people), 5,475 more than in the previous year.

Men aged 100 years and over for the first time exceeded ten thousand, with a total of 10 060, an increase of 585 individuals compared to 2020.

The number of centuries-old people in Japan has grown significantly over the past five decades, an increase that experts attribute to the development of medical technologies and treatments.

In 1963, when the first study was carried out, the Japanese over 100 years old were only 153. In 1998, this number reached 10 thousand, reaching 30 thousand in 2007, until reaching 50 thousand five years later, according to data from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The 118-year-old Japanese Kane Tanaka is now the oldest woman in the country, having been recognized as the oldest person in the world by the North American association Gerontology Research Group (GRG).

In turn, the oldest man in Japan is Mikizo Ueda, who is 111 years old. Population aging is one of the great challenges for Japan, with a constantly declining birth rate, raising concerns about the country’s economic prospects and workforce.

In 2020, life expectancy in the archipelago reached a record for both sexes: 87.74 years for women and 81.64 for men, according to data released in July by the Japanese Ministry of Health.

By prefecture, Shimane (west) has the highest number of centenarians per 100,000 inhabitants (134.75), followed by Kochi (126.29) and Kagoshima (118.74).

The national average is 68.54 per 100,000 inhabitants.

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