World's oldest person, Kane Tanaka, dies in Japan aged 119

Kane Tanaka, who was named the world's oldest living person by Guinness World Records in 2019, has died age 119. Credit: Kyodo News via AP

The world's oldest person, Japanese woman Kane Tanaka, has died at the age of 119, Japan's public broadcaster announced on Monday.

Born on 2 January, 1903, Tanaka was confirmed by Guinness World Records to be the oldest living person in 2019.

She died of old age at a hospital in Fukuoka city, western Japan, on 19 April, NHK said.

Ms Tanaka usually got up by 6am in the mornings, despite her age, and was partial to chocolate and fizzy drinks, according to NHK.

She was also a big fan of the board game Othello, and enjoyed studying mathematics.

The seventh of eight children, Ms Tanaka married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, and they had four children and adopted a fifth.

Japanese people tend to exhibit longevity and dominate the oldest-person list.

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Although changing dietary habits mean obesity has been rising, it is still relatively rare in a nation whose culinary tradition focuses on fish, rice, vegetables and other food low in fat.

Age is also traditionally respected here, meaning people stay active and feel useful into their 80s and beyond.

Ms Tanaka sadly did not reach the milestone of oldest person ever, an achievement of French woman, Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to 122 years, according to Guinness World Records.