Number of people aged 100 and over in Japan tops 90,000 for first time

The number of people aged 100 and older in Japan has surpassed 90,000 for the first time, hitting a new high for 52 years in a row.

The health ministry says there were 90,526 centenarians in the country as of Thursday, up about 4,000 from last year. Women account for nearly 90 percent.

The number has been rising continuously since 1970, when there were only 310 centenarians.

The oldest is 115-year-old Tatsumi Fusa, a woman who lives in Osaka Prefecture.

The oldest man in Japan is 111-year-old Nakamura Shigeru in Hiroshima Prefecture.

By region, Shimane Prefecture has the highest percentage of centenarians, with 142 per 100,000 people, followed by Kochi and Tottori prefectures.

Saitama Prefecture has the fewest at 43 per 100,000.
It has stayed at the bottom of the prefectural rankings for 33 years in a row.

The ministry says about 45,000 people will turn 100 by the end of March. They include Japanese citizens living abroad and foreigners who have permanent resident status.