World's oldest man dies in Japan

Masazo Nonaka, dubbed the "world's oldest man" by Guinness World Records, on Sunday died of natural causes at the age of 113.

"We feel shocked at the loss of this big figure," his granddaughter Yuko told Kyodo News. "He was as usual yesterday and passed away without causing our family any fuss at all."

Nonaka was born in July 1905 and became the oldest living man on April 10, 2018, according to Guinness World Records. He outlived his wife and three of their children.

His family said he spent his time enjoying hot springs at their inn, watching sumo wrestling on television and eating sweets.

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Centenarian surge

Japan is home to several of the world's oldest persons. In general, the country is home to a significant number of centenarians, or people who are 100 years or older.

Last year, the health ministry said that the number of centenarians grew by three percent to hit a record-breaking 69,785. Nearly 90 percent of them are women, the ministry added.

The figure has grown significantly since the ministry began taking record in 1963. That year, the ministry recorded 153 centenarians. However, the growing trend also reflects an increased demographic burden as the population ages and birth rates continue to decline.

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ls/rc (AP, dpa)