2020-01-05T130130Z_1181883106_RC2P9E91WFUX_RTRMADP_3_GUINNESS-RECORD-JAPAN-(Read-Only)
Kane Tanaka, born in 1903, smiles as a nursing home celebrates three days after her 117th birthday in Fukuoka, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo January 5, 2020 Image Credit: Reuters

TOKYO: Kane Tanaka has extended her record as the world’s oldest person by celebrating her 117th birthday at a nursing home in Fukuoka in southern Japan.

Tanaka marked her birthday with a party on Sunday along with staff and friends at the nursing home, television footage from local broadcaster TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co showed.

Tanaka, whose birthday was on January 2, took a bite from a slice of her big birthday cake. “Tasty,” she said with a smile.

“I want some more.” Tanaka was last year confirmed as the oldest living person, aged 116 years 66 days old as of March 9, according to Guinness World Records.

Tanaka’s record age is symbolic of Japan’s fast-ageing population, which coupled with its falling birth rate is raising concerns about labour shortages and prospects for future economic growth.

The number of babies born in Japan fell an estimated 5.9% last year to fewer than 900,000 for the first time since the government started compiling data in 1899, according to Japan’s welfare ministry.

Tanaka was born prematurely in 1903 and married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, Guinness World Records said. The couple had four children and adopted a fifth.