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Almost 70,000 centenarians in graying Japan, nearly 90% of them women

14 September 2018 12:34 508
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Almost 70,000 centenarians in graying Japan, nearly 90% of them women

TOKYO. KAZINFORM Japan's centenarian population hit a record-high 69,785 as of September, with women accounting for 88.1 percent of the total, on the back of medical advances and greater health consciousness, the welfare ministry said Friday.

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The figure rose 2,014 from the previous year for the 48th consecutive yearly increase, and represented a nearly a seven-fold jump from two decades ago. "We will continue to make efforts so that (the elderly) can stay healthy for a longer period of time," said an official of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

The tally is an estimate for Saturday, two days before this year's Respect-for-the Aged Day holiday, based on resident registry data, KYODO NEWS reports.

The number of male centenarians stood at 8,331, up 139 from a year earlier, while females came to 61,454, up 1,875. In the year through March next year, up to 32,241 people could reach 100, up 144 from the previous year. Former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, who turned 100 in May, is one of them.

Looking forward, the centenarian population is projected to rise further, exceeding 100,000 in five years and 170,000 in a decade, according to estimates by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. Life expectancy in Japan was projected at 87.26 years for women and 81.09 years for men in 2017.

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