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Japanese Ex-Teacher, 111, Set to Take World’s Oldest Man Title

TOKYO - A 111-year-old ex-teacher from Japan is expected to be named the world’s oldest living man after the death in New York City on Sunday of the previous title-holder.

Sakari Momoi, a lifelong educator and ex-school principal from the Saitama Prefecture northwest of Tokyo, was born on Feb. 5, 1903.

That makes him one day younger than Alexander Imich, who died on Sunday.

Momoi is currently being treated at a hospital in Tokyo, but last September he told local reporters that he planned to live for at least two more years.

Guinness World Records is currently evaluating potential successors to Imich, but if officially validated Momoi will join his compatriot Misao Okawa, 116, who is already recognized as the oldest living woman – giving Japan two topmost centenarians.

Imich was born in Poland, and fled the country with his wife after the Nazis invaded in 1939. They eventually came to the U.S. in the 1950s. She died in 1986.

-Arata Yamamoto