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World’s Oldest Person Dies In Japan At 117

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TOKYO – The world’s oldest person, a 117-year-old Japanese woman, has died.

Nabi Tajima died of old age in a hospital on Saturday in the town of Kikai in southern Japan, town official Susumu Yoshiyuki confirmed.

She had been hospitalised since January.

Tajima, born on Aug 4, 1900, was the last known person born in the 19th century.

Kikai is a small island of about 7,000 people halfway between Okinawa and Kyu­shu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.

Tajima became the world’s oldest person seven months ago after the death in September of Violet Brown in Jamaica, also at the age of 117.

A video clip shown on Japanese television showed Tajima moving her hands to the beat of music played on traditional Japanese instruments at a ceremony to mark the milestone.

Another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, is now the world’s oldest person, according to the US-based Gerontology Research Group.

Miyako lives south of Tokyo in Kanagawa prefecture and is due to turn 117 in 10 days. – AP

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