The health and labor ministry said the disaster, which left nearly 20,000 dead or missing, was mainly behind a decline in average lifespan by 0.4 years to 85.90 years. That put Japanese women behind Hong Kong, in the top spot with 86.7 years. The ministry said a rise in the number of suicides last year also contributed to the decline. For men, average life expectancy fell 0.11 years to 79.44, leaving them tied for 7th place with Italians. Switzerland led male longevity rankings with average expectancy of 80.2 years.
Japan women lose longevity crown
Hiromichi Takeuchi helps his 93-year-old mother take off a cardigan at their home in Tokyo. (PHOTO REUTERS)
July 29, 2012, Sunday/ 11:08:00/ REUTERS
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