The Okinawa Research Center for Longevity Science (ORCLS) is a leading non-profit biomedical research institute built on the foundation of the Okinawa Centenarian Study (OCS), the longest, continuously running study of hundred-year-olds in the world (established 1975). The ORCLS was officially established in 1997 by Dr. Makoto Suzuki, the Principal Investigator of the Okinawa Centenarian Study (OCS), to continue research on Okinawan centenarians after Dr. Suzuki's retirement from University of the Ryukyus, Faculty of Medicine, where the OCS was conducted until 1997. Since then the ORCLS has been working together with University of the Ryukyus, Faculty of Medicine (Okinawa), Okinawa International University, Department of Human Welfare (Okinawa), Pacific Health Research Institute (Hawaii), John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa (Hawaii), and Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology (Tokyo). Supports have been provided by Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Prefectural Government of Okinawa, and most recently, by the US National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health. The main study carried out by ORCLS, the Okinawa Centenarian Study, is a population-based study of hundred-year-olds (centenarians) and other elderly in Okinawa, Japan. The study began in 1976, after the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare confirmed initial reports of outstanding health and long life in Okinawa through validation of birth certificates and other statistical data. Today, Okinawa is known as the region with one of the world`s longest life expectancies, as well as the largest number of centenarians per 100,000 population; and OCS has investigated over 900 centenarians. Studies have concentrated on the genetics, diets, functional abilities, cognitive abilities and psychology of the centenarians.

Mission and Goals

The mission of the Okinawa Research Center for Longevity Science is to carry out cutting edge research on factors associated with healthy aging and to provide scientific, evidence-based information on health and longevity to the public, as well as to researchers and research institutes around the world for the betterment of the health and lives of all people. To accomplish this mission, ORCLS has set these goals:

  • Uncover the genetic and environmental (diet, lifestyle, psychological, social) factors responsible for the healthy aging phenomenon in Okinawan elderly
  • Continue to establish scientific databanks on genetics, diets, functional abilities, cognitive health, and other factors for further research on healthy aging
  • Continue to establish biological repositories useful for research on healthy aging
  • Collaborate with other researchers and research institutes to widen understanding and share knowledge
  • Engage in cutting edge translational work to translate the study results into clinically useful interventions for improving the health of older persons
  • Educate geriatric/gerontology students and researchers in the principals of healthy aging
  • Promote healthy aging to governments, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and responsible corporations