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Okinawan now takes ‘oldest person’ honors

Date Posted: 2009-09-17

A 114-year-old Okinawan woman has stepped into the position of being the world’s oldest living woman.

The unidentified Okinawan, who lives in a nursing facility in southern Okinawa, has declined to be identified. Her family says she’s well taken care of, gets around by wheel chair, and participates in local recreation programs.

The Okinawan woman moved into the title position with the death of 115-year-old Gertrude Baines. Baines, born in 1894, had lived in a Los Angeles nursing home until she died in her sleep September 11th.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare says the Okinawa woman is also the oldest living person in Japan. The ministry is encouraging citizens to pay special attention to senior citizens as the national Respect for the Aged holiday is coming up next Wednesday.

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