The world’s oldest living man, Chitetsu Watanabe, has passed away in Japan at the age of 112, the Niigata prefecture government said in a statement Tuesday.
Watanabe, who was residing at a nursing home in Niigata, was born on March 5th, 1907. He was officially confirmed by the Guinness World Record as the oldest living man on February 12 this year. He died on Sunday, February 23.
According to the Guinness World Record, he was born in Niigata and later moved to Taiwan to work on a sugar cane plantation. He returned to Japan and worked as an employee at an agricultural office in Niigata until his retirement.
Watanabe died before he could claim the title of the oldest man ever. He was just four years shy of the record, which is held by Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura, who was born on 19 April 1897 and passed away aged 116 years and 54 days on June 2013, according to Guinness.
In an interview with a local paper in January 2019, Watanabe said the secret to living a long life was “not to get angry and keep a smile on your face.”
Additional reporting by Miki Lendon in Tokyo.