Life Expectancy
A caretaker helps a woman, evacuated from a nursing home, to a temporary shelter after radiation leaked from an earthquake-damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor, in Koriyama, northeastern Japan March 12, 2011. REUTERS

Women in Hong Kong are living longer than those in Japan according to the latest annual report from the Japanese health ministry.

In 2011, Japan's female life expectancy dropped to 85.9 years from 86.3 years in 2010. Hong Kong's official female life expectancy was 86.7 years in 2011.

For the past 25 years Japan has topped life expectancy rankings for women, though Hong Kong has never been too far behind.

Longevity among these women is attributed to healthy traditional diets and a culture of exercise among the elderly, commonly found in East Asian communities.

Japan's recent drop, however, has been attributed to the March 2011 magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, which killed over 20,000 people and pushed the country's life expectancy down.

Additional factors include a rise in the number of suicides among Japanese women, as well as from disease.

Regardless of these factors, Hong Kong's female life expectancy rate was expected to surpass Japan's.

These statistics conflict with figures from the CIA World Fact Book, though they are probably more reliable given that they are official figures from the respective governments of Japan and Hong Kong.

The CIA World Fact Book listed women's life expectancy in Hong Kong at 85.05 years in 2011, while Japan's 2011 ranking remained dominant at 87.43 years.