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  1. ITV Report

World's oldest person dies in Japan aged 117

Nabi Tajima was the last known person to have been born in the 19th century. Credit: AP

A great-great-great grandmother thought to be the oldest person in the world has died in Japan aged 117.

Nabi Tajima, who was born August 4, 1900, became the world's oldest seven months ago after the death of 117 year old Jamaican Violet Brown.

Ms Tajima, who was thought to be the last person born in the 19th century, had seven sons, two daughters and reportedly more than 160 descendants, including great-great-great grandchildren.

She died in hospital on Saturday shortly before 8pm, having been cared for there since January, according to an official in the town of Kikai off Kyushu.

Her town of Kikai is a small island of about 7,000 people halfway between Okinawa and Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands.

Jamaican Violet Brown, known as Credit: AP

The US-based Gerontology Research Group says that another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, is now the world's oldest person.

Ms Miyako lives south of Tokyo in Kanagawa prefecture, and is due to turn 117 in 10 days.

Guinness World Records certified 112-year-old Masazo Nonaka of northern Japan as the world's oldest man earlier this month, and was planning to recognise Ms Tajima as the world's oldest person.

His family members say Nonaka still moves about by himself in a wheelchair and reads a newspaper after breakfast every morning.

His favourite pastime is to soak in Japan's hot springs and relax.

Robert Weighton and Alfred Smith are the oldest men in Britain, who by coincidence are born on the same day, March 29 1908, they are 110 years old.

Robert Weighton and Alfred Smith pictured on their 109th birthday. Credit: ITV News/STV

Three years ago Robert Weighton saw a story about Alfred Smith, from Perth in Scotland, and sent him a letter.

After realising they both shared the title of Britian's oldest man, they decided to stay in touch, writing each other birthday cards every year.

The secret to such longevity? "I haven't the slightest idea," said Mr Weighton, originally from Hull.

He said: "I don't have any rules because I've eaten all kinds of food, I'm not on a diet of any sort and I've managed to escape dying from various operations."