Photo/IllutrationTokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Sept. 8 presents a congratulatory letter to Suzuko Ichinomiya who will turn 100 in November. (The Asahi Shimbun)

The number of centenarians in Japan has hit another record high, government figures released to coincide with “Rojin no Hi” (senior citizens day) on Sept. 15 revealed.

There were an estimated 67,824 people aged 100 or older in the country as of that date, up 2,132 from 2016.

The total has reached a record high for 47 consecutive years since 1971, when there were only 339 centenarians.

The survey again shows that women outlive men, with female centenarians accounting for 87.9 percent of the total.

The oldest Japanese woman is Nabi Tajima, 117, who lives in Kikai, Kagoshima Prefecture.

Masazo Nonaka, a 112-year-old who lives in Ashoro, Hokkaido, is the oldest Japanese man.

Shimane Prefecture leads all 47 prefectures with 97.54 centenarians per 100,000 residents, followed by 92.11 and 91.26 for Tottori and Kochi prefectures, respectively.

Saitama Prefecture has the fewest centenarians, at 32.09 per 100,000 people, marking the 28th consecutive year the prefecture north of Tokyo has the fewest people living to the age of 100.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of people aged 100 or older.

While there were 153 centenarians in 1963, when the government started to honor them for their longevity, the number passed the 10,000 mark in 1998.

There were more than 50,000 people in the triple-figure age bracket in 2012, and the number exceeded 60,000 in 2015.