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Economy

Japanese life expectancy hits record high

Women now live over 87 years on average and men more than 81

Life expectancy has risen nearly every year since the end of World War II, possibly because of reduced cancer, heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.

TOKYO -- Japan's average life expectancy in 2018 reached new highs, hitting 87.32 years for women and 81.25 years for men, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced on Tuesday.

Compared to 2017, the figure went up 0.05 years for women, marking a new high for the sixth consecutive year. For men, the figure stood at 0.16 years, the seventh consecutive year their life expectancy recorded a new high.

The global ranking of Japan's life expectancy stayed the same as 2017, with women living second longest and men third longest.

Life expectancy has been rising nearly every year since the end of World War II. The health ministry suggested that this is because of reduced deaths from cancer, heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.

Average life expectancy refers to the number of years an individual is expected to live based on the year of birth. The chance of a person born in 2018 to live until 75 years of age is 88.1% for women and 75.6% for men. To live until 90 years of age, this shrinks to 50.5% for women and 26.5% for men.

Hong Kong maintained its top position at 87.56 years for women and 82.17 for men.

Spanish women were ranked third at 85.73 years while Swiss men ranked second at 81.4 years.

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