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Friday, 29th July 2011
In General Japan News,

Japanese women have world's highest life expectancy

Women in Japan have a higher life expectancy than any other sex-and-residency dependant demographic in the world, despite the average longevity falling this year.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, women in the country now live to an average age of 86.39 years old, higher than the second and third placed countries of Hong Kong and France.

The government organisation noted that the life expectancy of men in the country rose for the fifth year in a row, now standing at the all-time high of 79.64 years, which is still behind Israel, Switzerland and Hong Kong (which has the best male longevity figure, at 80 years).

However, despite retaining the title of the longest-living demographic in the world, the life expectancy of the average Japanese woman dropped slightly for the first time since 2006, dropping by 0.05 years from the 86.44 high recorded last year.

A government official attributed this slight fall in life expectancy to the heat wave which hit the country last summer and caused the deaths of multiple people, both old and young.

"Last year's heat wave probably led to an increase in deaths resulting from heat stroke and heart trouble," the government worker said.

The heat wave, which stretched through last June and July, was blamed for the deaths of more than 60 people. Temperatures rose above 35 degrees centigrade across most of the country, while nearby China also suffered.

According to the United Nations, the country with the lowest life expectancy for both males and females is Swaziland. Due to the high rate of HIV and AIDS in the country, the average overall life expectancy in the south-eastern African country is 39.6 years - or 40 per cent below the international average.

Written by Mark Smith