Jiroemon Kimura is the last man to be born in the 19th century. But not only that. The number of the country’s residents, who are over 100 years old, is increasing. A research group now wants to investigate why.

Japan’s “Club of the Centennial” grows and grows. More than 50,000 people in the country are now over 100 years old – an increase of 10,000 seniors within three years. One of them, 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura, holds two records: he is not only the oldest living person, but he is also the only remaining man who was born in the 19th century.

“We now want to investigate why we have so many particularly old people,” said a spokesman for the “Long- Term Welfare Department ” in Kimura’s Kyotango, West Japan, on Tuesday. In addition to Kimura, 94 other seniors over the age of 100 live in the village.

When Kimura celebrated his 116th birthday on April 19, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a greeting. Kimura’s recipe for a long life: “Eat moderately without likes and dislikes”. Japan’s traditionally low-fat cuisine is one of the most important reasons for the high life expectancy. The city administration of his place of residence wants to investigate the reasons exactly. “It can also be due to our beautiful nature, our good water and of course the nutrition,” said the spokesman.

The advancement of geriatric medicine and the fact that the Japanese live in one of the safest and richest countries in the world also contribute to the increasing life expectancy of the Japanese. Born in 1897, Kimura experienced the reigns of four emperors. He worked for the Japanese Post for 45 years and retired in 1965. He has seven children, five of whom are still alive. There are also 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great-grandchildren.

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