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World's Oldest Person Celebrates Her 119th Birthday

Kane Tanaka celebrated her 119th birthday Sunday with a Coca Cola, a smile, and optimism for another year of life

The world’s oldest living person, Kane Tanaka, turned 119 years old on Sunday, according to a Twitter post published by great-granddaughter Junko Tanaka.

“Great achievement. Kane Tanaka reached 119 years of age, I hope you’ll continue to live life cheerfully and to the fullest,” Junko Tweeted.

According to a twitter post by Junko, Tanaka was given two commemorative Coca-Cola bottles personalized with her name and age.

“Birthday gift 1: Introducing the presents received for Kane’s birthday. Really appreciate this gift. Coca-Cola company made a commemorative birthday bottle. It seems (Kane) is still drinking Coca-Cola as usual.”

Junko opened the Twitter account in January 2020 to commemorate Tanaka’s life on her 117th birthday.

Born in 1903, Tanaka married a rice shop owner at 19 and worked in the family store until she was 103, serving the community for more than 84 years. 

Tanaka was slated to carry the Olympic Torch to commemorate the delayed 2020 Japanese hosting of the games. She declined the opportunity amid health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic.

She has lived through two world wars, 49 Summer and Winter Olympic Games, and many more historic events over the previous century.

“I don’t remember her talking much about the past. She’s very forward-thinking; she really enjoys living in the present,” Eiji Tanaka told CNN last year.

Tanaka currently lives in a nursing home in the Fukuoka region of Japan. Her family said she keeps her mind and body engaged by “doing math, and remaining curious,” in the same interview with CNN.

The Guinness Book of World Records recognized her as the world’s oldest living person in 2019.

Tanaka is among a large and growing community of Japanese centenarians.

In a report released in September, the health ministry in Japan said 86,510 people were now over 100 years of age, an increase of 6,060 from 2020.

When the annual survey was first conducted in 1963, Japan had just 153 centenarians, but the number has continued to increase every year.

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