Japanese woman, 114, recognized as world's oldest

Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:54pm EST
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TOKYO (Reuters) - A 114-year-old Japanese woman born the same year that radium was discovered was recognized as the world's oldest woman by Guinness World Records on Wednesday.

Misao Ookawa, who was born to a clothing merchant in 1898 and now lives in the western city of Osaka, received a certificate acknowledging her status and said she was pleased.

"Given everything, it's pretty good," she told a gathering at the nursing home where she resides.

Ookawa, who according to Japanese media has never had a major illness in her life, married in 1919 and has three children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

The award came as an early birthday present. She turns 115 next week on March 5.

Japan has more than 50,000 centenarians, according to government data released last year, reinforcing its reputation for longevity. The world's oldest man is also Japanese - Jiroemon Kimura, aged 115.

(Reporting by Reuters Television, editing by Elaine Lies and Paul Casciato)

Misao Okawa (R) receives a certification from an official of Guinness World Records in Osaka, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo February 27, 2013. Okawa of the western Japanese city of Osaka was on Wednesday officially recognised by the Guinness World Records as the oldest woman alive at 114 years old. Born to a clothing merchant in 1898, also the year of the Spanish-American war, Okawa is due to celebrate her 115th birthday next week on March 5th. Mandatory Credit. REUTERS/Kyodo