Japan’s oldest man, 109-year-old Minsho Ozawa, has died of pneumonia at a hospital in central Japan, his family said on Tuesday.
Ozawa, a former chief priest of a Buddhist temple, died on Monday after being hospitalised in early May, said his 55-year-old grandson, Yasumasa.
He attributed his grandfather’s longevity to a cheerful outlook — Ozawa’s motto was ”Nothing’s worth worrying about” — and a diet of meat and eel, a Japanese favorite.
Ozawa, who had 47 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, was active as a priest until his early 90s in his native Yamanashi, 105km west of Tokyo, Yasumasa said.
Ozawa became Japan’s oldest man in May after the death of Kameni Nakamura, a farmer from Japan’s southernmost prefecture, or state, of Okinawa.
Japan’s oldest man is now 109-year-old Totaro Murakami, who was born on February 21, 1895, the Health Ministry said.
Japan’s life expectancy is the longest in the world for both sexes — 85,23 years for women and 78,32 for men in 2002. The country’s traditional fish-based, low-fat diet may be the secret to its population’s long lives, researchers say.
London-based Guinness World Records recognized 113-year-old Fred Hale Senior, of Syracuse, New York, as the world’s oldest man in March. — Sapa