Tokyo, Sep 18: Tomoji Tanabe (Japan), world's oldest man turned 113 on Thursday, Sep 18. While celebrating birthday he said that a strict diet was the secret of his longevity. Tanabe, who has nearly 100 direct descendants, walked unassisted in a kimono chosen for his birthday to accept a large bouquet of flowers in front of flashing cameras. He was presented with flowers and a giant tea cup glazed with his name and date of birth.
"I tell ya, I am happy," he said in a clear voice to reporters who came to his home in southern Miyazaki prefecture. "I eat a lot," he said, but added he strictly avoided alcohol, cigarettes and snacks. His hobbies include perusing the newspaper, keeping a diary and talking with people. He has said he wants to live at least 10 more years.
Tanabe, who lives with a son and daughter-in-law, has eight children, 25 grandchildren, 52 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. The Japanese are among the world's longest-lived people, with the number of those aged 100 or older at a record 36,276 as per the government report. Japanese women have topped the world's longevity ranks for 23 years, while men rank third after Iceland and Hong Kong.
But Japan is also faced with a future demographic crisis as fewer young people start families, putting pressure on the economic system.