Number of centenarians in Japan tops 92,000, hits record for 53rd year straight

The number of centenarians in Japan has surpassed 92,000 this year, hitting a new high for 53 years in a row.

The health and welfare ministry says that as of Friday, a total of 92,139 people are aged 100 or older, up 1,613 from last year. The number has continued to rise since 1970, when there were only 310 centenarians.

This year, women account for 88.5 percent of the total, at 81,589. There are 10,550 male centenarians.

The oldest woman is 116-year-old Osaka Prefecture resident Tatsumi Fusa. The oldest man is 111-year-old Sonobe Gisaburo, who lives in Chiba Prefecture.

By region, Shimane Prefecture has the highest proportion of centenarians, with 155 per 100,000 people, topping the list for the 11th consecutive year.

Shimane is followed by Kochi and Tottori prefectures.

Saitama Prefecture has the fewest at 44 per 100,000 people. It has stayed at the bottom of the prefectural rankings for 34 years in a row. Saitama is followed by Aichi and Chiba prefectures.

When including Japanese living abroad and foreign nationals who are permanent residents of Japan, a total of 47,107 people will turn 100 by the end of March. The ministry plans to send gifts to them.