Tokyo:  The world’s oldest person, a 117-year-old Japanese woman, has died, according to a report in the South China Morning Post. Nabi Tajima died of old age on Saturday evening in a hospital in the town of Kikai, southern Japan, according to Susumu Yoshiyuki – a health and welfare official in the town.

“ Tajima was living at a nursing centre for the elderly. In January, she became weaker, so she was taken to a local hospital,” Yoshiyuki said. “She died there due to her advanced age,” he said.

Born on August 4, 1900, Tajima was the last known person born in the 19th century. She reportedly had more than 160 descendants, including great-great-great grandchildren. Her town of Kikai is in Kagoshima prefecture on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands.

She became the world’s oldest person seven months ago after the death in September of Violet Brown in Jamaica, also at the age of 117. The video shown on Japanese television showed Tajima moving her hands to the beat of music played on traditional Japanese instruments at a ceremony to mark the achievement.

Japan is known for the longevity of its people and has been home to several oldest title holders. There are around 68,000 people aged 100 or older in the country, the government said last year.