The world's oldest woman dies aged 117

Misao Okawa
Misao Okawa

The world's oldest person has died in Japan nearly a month after celebrating her 117th birthday.

Her nursing home says Misao Okawa died of heart failure early today.

Mrs Okawa, born in Osaka on March 5, 1898, was recognised as the world's oldest person by Guinness World Records in 2013.

Her Osaka nursing home says she lost her appetite about 10 days ago. She stopped breathing as her grandson and nursing home officials attended.

Mrs Okawa, the daughter of a kimono maker, said at a birthday celebration last month that her life seemed rather short.

She married her husband, Yukio, in 1919, and they had three children - two daughters and a son. She was survived by four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 1931.