Japanese women and men remained in a top-three spot on the world’s average life expectancy list in 2017 as Hong Kong continued to dominate the first spot, Tokyo’s welfare ministry’s data showed on Friday. The average life expectancy of women in Japan retained second place for the third straight year at 87.26 years, up 0.12 year from 2016. That for men fell to third from second although it rose 0.11 year to 81.09. Both figures topped a previous record for the sixth straight year. “The rise of a health-conscious lifestyle may be contributing to the figure. It’s quite possible to see longevity further increase amid progress in medical treatment,” an official of the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry said. Japanese women enjoyed the world’s longest average life expectancy – which denotes the expectancy at birth – from 1985 through 2010. They trailed behind women in Hong Kong in 2011 in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan in March that year. Japanese women regained the top spot in 2012 and have ranked first ever since but relinquished the top spot to Hong Kong in 2015. For women, Hong Kong ranked top at 87.66 years and Spain ranked third at 85.84 years. For men, Hong Kong was top at 81.70 years, followed by Switzerland at 81.5 years, the ministry said.