TOKYO, Japan, Jul 7 – The world’s oldest man, Sakari Momoi, has died in Japan at the ripe old age of 112, an official said Tuesday.
Momoi, born months before the Wright brothers made their first successful flight, passed away late Sunday, said the official at Saitama City, north of Tokyo, where he had lived for many years.
The supercentenarian, recognised as the world’s oldest male at the age of 111 last year, died of kidney failure in a care home in Tokyo.
“We heard from his family… that his health worsened one or two weeks ago,” the official said.
Momoi, a former high school principal who was born on February 5, 1903, received a certificate from Guinness World Records confirming the achievement last year.
Dressed in a black suit, white shirt and silver tie, Momoi told assembled media that he did not plan on going anywhere just yet.
“I want to live for about two more years,” he said in soft voice at that time.
He was born in Minamisoma, Fukushima, an area badly hit by the deadly 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami in 2011 that triggered the world worst nuclear crisis in a generation.
According to the US-based Gerontology Research Group, the title of world’s oldest man now passes to Japan’s Yasutaro Koide, also 112 years old and just over a month younger than Momoi.
On the opposite side of the Pacific, the world’s oldest person celebrated her 116th birthday on Monday.
New Yorker Susannah Mushatt Jones, a former live-in housekeeper, known as “T” to her 100 nieces and nephews, was born on July 6, 1899.
Japan is known for the longevity of its people and around a quarter of its population of 128 million is aged 65 or older.