Japan is one of the world’s most long-lived nations, with nearly 54,400 centenarians as of September 2013, according to the health ministry. Meet Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman believed to be the world’s oldest person. She recently celebrated turning 116 by tucking into a white cake decorated with strawberries and candles.
Okawa received bouquets from well-wishers at a small party in the nursing home where she lives in the western city of Osaka, Okawa sat by her birthday cake, decorated with “116” in candles, and later pronounced it as “delicious.” Asked if she was happy to have lived so long, she replied, according to the Asahi Shimbun daily: “Kind of.”
She credits her healthy appetite and her longevity with one of her favourite foods — sashimi, or raw fish. In the past six months she has gained 4kg, Japanese media said. Okawa has been dubbed the world’s oldest living person since the June 2013 death of 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura, also Japanese. She is the tenth person verified to have reached 116 and the third oldest Japanese person ever.