Life expectancy in Japan rose for both women and men, with that of women, already the world's longest, extending by nearly one year, the Health Ministry said Thursday, citing the latest census data.
Life expectancy for women increased to 85.52 years in 2005 from 84.60 years in 2000, Health Ministry official Morio Akimoto said.
The latest figures were calculated based on the fixed census data taken in 2005. The census is taken every five years in Japan.
Akimoto said Japanese women held the world's longevity record for the 21st straight year, ahead of Hong Kong and Spain, according to U.N. demographic figures.
For men, life expectancy rose to 78.56 years from 77.72 years, the fourth longest in the world after Hong Kong, Iceland and Switzerland, Akimoto said.
The latest life expectancy for both Japanese sexes was revised upwardly by 0.03 year, compared with the figures released in July 2006, which used a simple life table, Akimoto said, reports AP.
Japan has long touted as one of the world's longest-living populations, but experts are worried that changing eating patterns from the traditional fish and rice-based diet to fast food like hamburgers and instant noodles may soon change this.