28 Feb 2013

World's oldest woman acknowledged

8:14 am on 28 February 2013

A Japanese woman born the same year that radium was discovered was recognised as the world's oldest woman by Guinness World Records on Wednesday.

Misao Ookawa, 114, who was born to a clothing merchant in 1898 and now lives in the western city of Osaka, received a certificate acknowledging her status.

"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. She 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. The world's oldest man is also Japanese: Jiroemon Kimura, aged 115.