Official: World's Oldest Man Dies at 113

TOKYO (AP) - Tomoji Tanabe, the world's oldest man, died in his
sleep at his home in southern Japan on Friday, a city official
said. He was 113.

"He died peacefully. His family members were with him," said
Junko Nakao, a city official in Miyakonojo on Japan's southern
island of Kyushu. Tanabe died of heart failure, she said.

Tanabe, who was born Sept. 18, 1895, had eight children - five
sons and three daughters. The former city land surveyor also had 25
grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, and six
great-great-grandchildren, according to a statement from the
Miyakonojo city. He was certified by the Guinness Book of World
Records as the world's oldest man when he was 111 years old.

Tanabe lived with his fifth son and daughter-in-law.

His favorite meals were fried shrimp and Japanese miso soup with
clams, the statement said. Tanabe drank milk every morning and read
the newspaper. He also avoided alcohol and did not smoke, the
statement said.

The city's mayor, Makoto Nagamine, said Tanabe was "the symbol
of the Miyakonojo known as a city of long life."

"I feel very saddened by his death," Nagamine said in a
statement. "He cheered many citizens."

Japanese people have among the world's longest life expectancies
- nearly 86 years for women and 79 years for men - which is often
attributed to the country's healthy diet rich in fish and rice.

The number of Japanese living past 100 has more than doubled in
the last six years, reaching a record high of 36,000 people in
2008. The country's centenarian ranks are dominated by women, who
make up 86 percent of the total.

Japan's centenarian population is expected to reach nearly 1
million - the world's largest - by 2050, according to U.N.

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