19 Apr 2012

Japanese man celebrates 115th birthday

11:01 pm on 19 April 2012

The world's oldest man has celebrated his 115th birthday at home in Japan.

Jirouemon Kimura, who lives in Kyotango city in western Japan, spends more time in his bed these days, but eats three meals a day with his family, the DPA newsagency reports.

Mr Kimura, who was born in 1897, worked at a post office for 38 years, turning to farming after his retirement and continuing until the age of 90.

He has seven children (of whom five are still alive), 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

He appears to be pipped for the world's oldest person title by two women, also 115 years old, in the United States.

New Zealand's longest-lived person of modern times was Hamilton woman Ethel Booth, who died in February 2001, aged 110 years, 55 days.