That’s a lot of candles! World’s oldest person celebrates his 116th birthday and becomes longest living man EVER
- Jiroemon Kimura says his secret is to ‘eat light and live long’
- He is oldest man to ever live, taking title from American Christian Mortenson
- He became oldest person alive in December after death of Dina Manfredini
Today the world’s oldest living person Jiroemon Kimura is smiling as he celebrates his 116th birthday and becomes the oldest man ever to have lived.
Japenese former postman Mr Kimura, who was born on April 19 1897, was named the world’s oldest person by Guinness World Records after the death of American woman Dina Manfredini on December 17 2012.
He is now the oldest man to ever have lived whose age has been officially verified, taking over the title from Christian Mortensen of California, who died in 1998 at the age of 115 years and 252 days.
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World’s oldest man: Jiroemen Kimura celebrated turning 116 in Kyotango city in Kyoto prefecture, western Japan
Jiroemon Kimura, the world’s oldest ever man, speaking to his grandson’s wife Eiko as he celebrates his 116th birthday
Mr Kimura’s motto in life and secret to longevity is ‘to eat light and live long’, an official said.
The centenarian does not smoke, drinks only a ‘modest’ amount of alcohol, and has made it a practice to eat only until he is 80 per cent full.
He has 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren, and celebrated his birthday with relatives.
Jiroemon Kimura (pictured with Kyotango city mayor Yasushi Nakayama) watches a TV birthday message from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recorded a birthday message for Jiroemon Kimura who turned 116 today
Jiroemon Kimura was congratulated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for being the world’s oldest person and the oldest ever man
On his special day he received a visit from the mayor of his home city of Kyotango in the west of Japan.
He was sent a video message from Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to wish him a happy birthday and offer congratulations on holding a world record.
His title as the oldest living person at present is contested by a Chinese woman Luo Meizhen, a woman who claims to have turned 127 in September.
But Ms Luo has no birth certificate to prove her age, only an ID card which states she was born in 1885.
Kyotango city mayor Yasushi Nakayama, left, hands out a binder full of birthday messages to Jiroemon Kimura
Jiroemon Kimura appeared in good spirits at his 116th birthday celebration with Kyotango city mayor Yasushi Nakayama
Mr Kimura is one of 95 people who will be 100 years old or more in his home city of Kyotango which has a 60,000-strong population.
Kyotango officials now want to find the secret of his longevity and have launched a research project.
‘We want city residents to know of the secrets of what enables a long life-span but also to attract tourists to this long-living city,’ the official said.