The Japanese Chitetsu Watanabe, 112, was recognized Wednesday as the oldest man in the world by the Guinness World Records, whom he received smiling in his home for the elderly in the city of Joetsu, on the west coast of the country.
Born on March 5, 1907 to a family of farmers, Watanabe moved to Taiwan at age 20, where he worked in a sugar refinery for 18 years before returning to Japan after the end of World War II.
Lover of calligraphy, Watanabe received the Guinness World Records staff with his own writing in which he could read “the number one in the world” and was smiling at the media there, according to Jiji news agency.
The key to his long life, he said, is “laughing.”
Watanabe has 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, and his favorite foods are flan and ice cream, which he continues to enjoy.
The native of Niigata Prefecture was recognized as the oldest man in the world after the deaths in 2019 of the German Gustav Gerneth (October), at 114, and the Japanese Masazo Nonaka (January), at 113 years, three months greater than the German.
Japan is one of the countries with the highest life expectancy in the world and recognized as the oldest living person in the world resides in the southwest of the archipelago, Japan’s Kane Tanaka, who turned 117 on January 2.
According to the Gerontology Research Group (GRG), after Tanaka there are the French Lucile Randon, 116, and Jeanne Bot, 115.
Watanabe is the only male among the 30 oldest people in the world, according to the registry of that group.