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World's oldest person dies at 117

Nabi Tajima was born on 4 August 1900.

Nabi Tajima, 117, pictured during a celebration at a nursing home on 18 September 2017 in Kikai, Kagoshima, Japan
Nabi Tajima, 117, pictured during a celebration at a nursing home on 18 September 2017 in Kikai, Kagoshima, Japan
Image: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

A 117-YEAR-OLD Japanese woman, thought to be the world’s oldest person, has died, a local official has confirmed.

Nabi Tajima, who was born on 4 August 1900, died around 11pm last night (Irish time) at a hospital on her native Kikai Island in the Kagoshima region, according to Susumu Yoshiyuki, a health and welfare official.

Tajima, who became the oldest woman in Japan in September 2015, could have been the oldest person in the world since Violet Brown of Jamaica died in September 2017 at age 117, Japanese media said.

Since Brown’s death, Guinness World Records has been investigating who is the oldest person in the world and was yet to recognise Tajima as such.

The oldest man in the world is 112-year-old Masazo Nonaka of Japan, the organisation announced on 10 April.

“Ms Tajima was living at a nursing centre for the elderly. In January, she became weaker, so she was taken to a local hospital,” Yoshiyuki told AFP.

“She died there due to her advanced age,” he said.

Japan is known for the longevity of its people and has been home to several oldest title holders. There are around 68,000 people aged 100 or older in the country, the government said last year.

© AFP 2018 

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