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Japan has 17,934 centenarians, a record high.

TOKYO, Sept. 10 Kyodo

The number of centenarians or people who will be centenarians in Japan by the end of September reached a record high of 17,934 as of Sept. 1, with 84% of them women, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Tuesday.

The number increased by 2,459 from last year and is about 4.3 times that of 10 years ago, with the number of women 4.5 times higher at 15,059, and the number of men 3.5 times greater at 2,875, the ministry said.

Okinawa has the highest proportion of centenarians of any prefecture, topping the list for the 13th consecutive year since 1990.

The average number of centenarians per 100,000 population was 14.09 for the country as a whole, while that for Okinawa Prefecture was 39.5, followed by Kochi Prefecture with 35.06 and Shimane Prefecture with 28.65. Saitama Prefecture, with 6.5, was at the bottom of the list for the 13th straight year.

Kamato Hongo of the city of Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, who will be 115 on Monday, is the oldest person in Japan, followed by Yukichi Chuganji, 113, of Ogori, Fukuoka Prefecture, and Mitoyo Kawate, 113, of Hiroshima.

Hongo is the world's oldest woman, while Chuganji is the world's oldest man, according to the ministry.

There were only 153 people aged over 100 found in Japan in 1963, when the ministry started taking the statistics, and the figure had risen to 4,152 in 1992.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Sep 16, 2002
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