From the Global Times:
Japanese women have held the record for the world's longest life expectancy for 25 years in a row, with an average life span of 86.44 years as of 2009, the health and welfare ministry said Monday, as the country struggles to cope with rising welfare costs in a rapidly aging society.
Life expectancy in Japan rose for the fourth straight year in 2009. Japanese men's average life expectancy came fifth globally with 79.59 years. Average life spans rose by almost five months for women and nearly four months for men, compared with the previous year.
The ministry attributed the extension of life spans to improved treatment of the three major causes of death among Japanese - cancer, cardiac disorders and strokes - as well as pneumonia.