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    Japan has 70,000 centenarians, a new record

    Japan now has over 70,000 centenarians, the Japanese government announced on Friday. 

    The number of people aged 100 or over has increased by 2% over the last 12 months, meaning there are now 71,238. 88% of them are women. 

    Japan has seen its number of centenarians increase very quickly since 1963, when it had just 153. A report published by the Health minister on Friday revealed Japan had over 10,000 centenarians in 1998 and over 50,000 in 2012. 

    The world’s oldest person recognised by the Guinness Book of Records is Kane Tanaka, a 116-year-old woman who lives in the village of Fukuoka. She was born on the 2nd of January 1903. 

    The ageing population is a real economic strain on Japan, especially as the birth rate there is dropping. 

    Forecasts by the Population Institute in Tokyo say that over 65s will make up 38.1% of the population by 2060, compared to 26.6% in 2015. 

    In comparison, Belgium 2019 population figures report a total of 1,487 centenarians in the country, with 1,277 women and 210 men.  This number is not dissimilar to the 2009 total of 1.480. 

     Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times