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Ura Koyama, 114; Reportedly World's 2nd-Oldest Person

April 06, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Ura Koyama, 114, Japan's oldest person, died Tuesday in Iizuka City in southern Japan of pneumonia, Japanese officials said.

According to the UCLA-based Gerontology Research Group, which tracks "supercentenarians" -- those over 110 -- Koyama was the second-oldest person in the world. She was born Aug. 30, 1890.

The world's eldest, according to the agency, is Hendrikje Van Andel of the Netherlands, who was born June 29, 1890.

An American now is in second place, according to the supercentenarian-trackers. She is Bettie Wilson, born Sept. 13, 1890.

The oldest person in Japan, according to its Health Ministry, is now Yone Minaga, 112, of Fukuoka, who was born Jan. 4, 1893.

Possibly because of its low-fat, fish-based diet, Japan consistently ranks among nations with the world's longest life spans.

In 2003, Japanese women could expect to live 85.3 years, and men 78.3 years.

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