Yasutaro Koide, a 112-year-old from Nagoya, was recognized Friday by the Guinness World Records as the oldest living man. Asked about the secret of his longevity, Koide said, “Don’t try too hard. It is the best to leave it as it is.”
Misao Okawa, who died in April of this year, was previously the oldest living person at 117 years. (Guinness World Records has recognized a 116-year-old woman in New York, Susannah Jones, as the world’s oldest living person now.)
In other news is the Japanese government’s gift to Japanese citizens who celebrate 100 years. Since 1963, a silver sake cup has been presented to each person who reaches his or her 100th birthday. That year there were 153 new centenarians. Last year there were more than 29,000 (25,000 were women). These cups are a thank you gift for the centenarians’ contribution to society and are worth 8,000 yen. The total cost for these gifts was about 260 million yen last year. Some government officials want to change to a less expensive gift or just a letter of congratulations from the prime minister. Can you imagine being 99 years old, waiting for years to get this gift and it changes to a letter when you turn 100?