Japan, a country of 40,000 centarians

The Associated Press is reporting that Japan will have “…40,399 people aged 100 or older this month, surpassing the previous record of 36,276 last year.”

86% of those people also happen to be women.

My grandmother actually falls into this category. If I’m not mistaken, she turned 101 this year (or was that 102?).

The oldest Japanese citizen is currently a 114-year-old woman living in Okinawa.  The oldest man is 112 and lives in Kyoto.

Current life expectancy sits at 86 years for women and 79 for men.  But I wonder, how long will this last?

Western food has become quite popular in Japan and I get the feeling that isn’t going to help extend life expectancies.  Many of the people living into their 90s and 100s are people that lived on diets that consisted of a lot of fish and rice — something that has been changing quite a bit over the last decade or two, with the influx of Western food.

While I have nothing against Western food, I do also tend to believe that people should stick to foods that originated in their localities.

It’ll be interesting to see how life expectancies change over the next 20-40 years.  I have a feeling it’s going to start dropping.