According to the country's Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, this past year, some 30,000 Japanese people turned 100 years old. The number of centenarians in Japan has topped 60,000 for the first time ever, hitting a record high for the 45th straight year.

The number of people aged 100 or older is expected to total 61,568. 

When the ministry started compiling the statistics in 1963, the nation only had 153 centenarians. The number exceeded 10,000 in 1998, 30,000 in 2007, and 50,000 in 2012, as the aging of the country's population progressed.

The latest survey showed that women account for 87.3 percent of the total number of people over 100 years old. Nationwide, an entire generation of Japanese citizens are entering retirement age. Of the 127 million people who live there, roughly 25% are over 65. By 2060, that proportion could rise to 40%.

The oldest Japanese man is Yasutaro Koide, 112, who lives in Nagoya. He was recognized as the world's oldest man by the Guinness World Records in August. The oldest Japanese woman is a 115-year-old in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward. Her name has not been disclosed at her family's request.

What's the secret? Ask the Japanese. 

Sept. 20, 2015 Living photo: Profimedia

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