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116-year-old Japanese woman confirmed as world’s oldest person

Kane Tanaka.

A 116-year-old Japanese woman who still enjoys studying math and playing board games has been recognised as the world’s oldest person, the Guinness World Records said Saturday.

Kane Tanaka was born on 2 January 1903, the year when the Wright brothers launched humanity’s first powered flight, according to Guinness.

Tanaka’s recognition was celebrated at the nursing home where she lives in western Japan’s Fukuoka by city mayor Soichiro Takashima and other well-wishers.

Asked what moment she was the most happy in life, she replied: “Now.”

She married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, giving birth to four children and adopting a fifth.

Kane normally wakes each morning at 6 am and passes the afternoons by studying mathematics and practicing calligraphy.

“One of Kane’s favourite pastimes is a game of Othello and she’s become an expert at the classic board game, often beating rest-home staff,” Guinness said.

Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and has been home to several people recognised as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.

They include Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.

The oldest verified person ever – Jeanne Louise Calment of France – died in 1997 at the age of 122, according to Guinness.

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