World's oldest person turns 119

Kane Tanaka's immediate goal is to live until 120

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Published: Tue 4 Jan 2022, 9:24 PM

Last updated: Tue 4 Jan 2022, 9:41 PM

Kane Tanaka, the oldest living person in the world, celebrated her 119th birthday in a nursing home in Fukuoka, Japan, according to the Kyodo News Agency.

The supercentenarian, recognised in 2019 by the Guinness World Records, loves chocolate and fizzy drinks.

"Great achievement. (Kane Tanaka) reached 119 years of age…I hope you'll continue to live life cheerfully and to the fullest," her great-granddaughter Junko Tanaka tweeted, also including a photograph of her great-grandmother, whom she had met in December.

"Birthday gift 1: Introducing the presents received for Kane's birthday. Really appreciate this gift. Coca-Cola company made a commemorative birthday bottle. It seems (Kane) is still drinking Coca-Cola as usual," Junko explained.

Born on January 2, 1903 in the Fukuoka Prefecture, Tanaka married a rice shop owner at the age of 19, and worked in the family store until she was 103. She has lived through five Japanese eras (of rule), two World Wars, and the 1918 Spanish flu.

Her family members explained that she hoped to live until 120 as an immediate goal. In another three years, Tanaka could even beat the all-time record for the oldest person, held by Jeanne Louise Calment from France (122 years), who died in 1997.

"When the centenarian was sent flowers on Respect for the Aged Day last September, by Fukuoka Gov. Seitaro Hattori, she expressed her happiness by making a peace sign," the Kyodo News Agency reported.

"I would like to personally congratulate her soon. I hope she remains healthy and has fun everyday as she grows older," said Elji Tanaka, her 62-year-old grandson.

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