A 112-year-old man from Japan says eating sweets and hot baths are his secret as he was officially recognised as the world's oldest living man.

Masazo Nonaka received a certificate confirming his Guinness World Records title today after the death of Spaniard Francisco Nunez Olivera, 113, the previous record holder.

Mr Nonaka was born on July 25, 1902, just months before Albert Einstein published his theory of special relativity.

READ MORE: • What really happens when you age?

Advertisement

He was handed his title and a celebratory cake at an award ceremony in his hometown on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, where he lives near a hot springs inn run by his family.

Yuko Nonaka, his granddaughter, said he put much of his longevity down to a soft spot for Japanese and Western sweets.

Masazou Nonaka, right, receives the certificate from Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living man at age 112 years and 259 days. Photo / AP
Masazou Nonaka, right, receives the certificate from Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living man at age 112 years and 259 days. Photo / AP

She said: "He needs a wheelchair to move but he is in good condition. He loves eating any kinds of sweets - Japanese or western style.

"He reads newspapers everyday and often soaks in the hot springs."

She said he had a particular taste for strawberry sponge cakes, but said she believed her grandfather's stress-free lifestyle was the real key to his long life.

A farmer and lumberjack in his youth, Mr Nonaka ran the hot springs inn himself before easing into a comfortable retirement nearby as his relatives took over the business.

He had five children after marrying his wife Hatsuno in 1931, and still lives where he grew up in the town of Ashoro, around 560 miles north of Tokyo.

The super-centenarian, as those who reach their 110th birthday are known, is not the first Japanese man to reach the record books.

Advertisement
Masazou Nonaka eats his cake. Photo / AP
Masazou Nonaka eats his cake. Photo / AP

Jiroemon Kimura, who died in June 2013 at the age of 116, remains Guinness World Records' oldest man ever.

Japan is known for the longevity of many of its people, with the government confirming the country was home to around 68,000 people aged 100 or older last year.

There is no current record holder for the oldest living person, with Guinness World Records still investigating after the death of Jamaican Violet Brown, aged 117, in July 2017.

The all-time record for the oldest age reached is 122 years and 164 days, which French Jeanne Louise Calment had managed when she died in 1997.