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World's oldest person dies aged 117 in Japan

The world’s oldest person, a 117-year-old Japanese woman, has died. Nabi Tajima died of old age in a hospital on Saturday evening in the town of Kikai in southern Japan (Getty)

The world’s oldest person has passed away aged 117.

Nabi Tajima was born on August 4, 1900, and became the oldest living person seven months ago.

She died in hospital on Saturday shortly before 8pm, having been cared for there since January, according to an official in the town of Kikai off Kyushu, Japan.

Ms Tajima was the last known person born in the 19th century, and raised seven sons and two daughters and reportedly had more than 160 descendants, including great-great-great grandchildren.

Her town of Kikai is a small island of about 7,000 people halfway between Okinawa and Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.

Video shown on Japanese television showed Ms Tajima moving her hands to the beat of music played on traditional Japanese instruments at a ceremony to mark the achievement of her becoming the oldest person alive, after the death of Violet Brown in Jamaica.

Ms Tajima passed away before she was recognised by Guinness World Records (AFP)

The US-based Gerontology Research Group says that another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, is now the world’s oldest person in its records.

Ms Miyako lives south of Tokyo in Kanagawa prefecture, and is due to turn 117 in 10 days.

Guinness World Records certified 112-year-old Masazo Nonaka of northern Japan as the world’s oldest man earlier this month, and was planning to recognise Ms Tajima as the world’s oldest person.