Tokyo: Japan's centenarian population reached a record 69,785 this month, with 88.1 per cent of them being women, the government said on Friday, attributing the historic high to medical advances and increased health awareness.
The figure rose by 2,014 persons from last year and is almost seven times higher than two decades ago, Efe news reported.
Among the people who were over 100 years, 61,454 were women while 8,331 were men, including former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, who turned 100 in May.
The number of centenarians has increased continuously since 1971 and the government expects the trend to continue.
The number of people above the age of 100 is expected to cross 100,000 in five years and 170,000 in a decade, according to an estimate by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.