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World’s oldest person Jiroemon Kimura dies at 116

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-06-12

Jiroemon Kimura, a Japanese man who held the records for the world’s oldest living person and the oldest living man in history, died on Tuesday at the age of 116 in a hospital near the city of Kyoto.

Jiroemon Kimura, a Japanese man who held the records for world’s oldest living person and the oldest man recorded in history, died on Wednesday at the ripe old age of 116.

Kimura, who lived in Kyotango near the city of Kyoto in western Japan, had been hospitalised for pneumonia since last month.

He became the world’s oldest person on December 17, 2012, following the death of 115-year-old Dina Manfredini, who lived in the US state of Iowa, according to the Guinness World Records.

Kimura was born on April 19, 1897, the same year Britain’s Queen Victoria prepared to mark her Diamond Jubilee. He worked as a postal employee and as a farmer at his home.

On his 115th birthday, Kimura told reporters he was keeping his mind fit by learning English. He attributed his longevity to spending time outdoors in the sun.

“I am always looking up towards the sky. That is how I am,” Kimura said at the time.

Kimura is survived by seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 15 great-great-grandchildren, Japanese media reported.

Japan has more than 50,000 centenarians, 2011 government data showed. And if that weren’t proof enough of the country’s reputation for longevity, Kimura’s successor for the title of oldest living person is countrywoman Misao Okawa, a 115-year-old woman from the city of Osaka.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-06-12

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