TOKYO Ė The number of people aged over 100 in Japan has risen to a record number of 67,782, an increase of over 2,000 compared to last year, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on Friday.
Women make up 88 percent of centenarians, according to figures tallied until Sept. 1 by the Japanese government.
The figures were released to mark Respect for the Aged Day, which is observed in the country on the third Monday of every September.
The number of centenarians has increased every year since 1971, and the ministry expects the trend to continue because of advances in medical science and greater health awareness.
Nabi Tajima, from Kikai Island, born in August 1900, is the oldest woman in Japan at 117 years of age.
Masazo Nonaka, born in July 1905 in Ashono, southern Hokkaido, is the oldest man at 112.
Another 32,297 people are expected to turn 100 this year, 350 more than last year.