Secret to Japan couple’s 80 years of marriage: wife’s patience

World’s oldest living married couple Masao Matsumoto, left, and Miyako Matsumoto look at albums in their room at a nursing house in Takamatsu, Kagawa prefecture in Japan. (Reuters)
Updated 04 September 2018
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Secret to Japan couple’s 80 years of marriage: wife’s patience

TAKAMATSU, Japan: Japan is known for its abundance of centenarians and can now lay claim to having the world’s oldest living married couple, with a combined age of 208 — a feat the wife credits to her patience during 80 years of marriage.
Masao Matsumoto, 108, and his 100-year-old wife, Miyako, have been confirmed as the oldest living spouses by aggregate age by Guinness World Records, having been married since October 1937.
“I am so glad. It’s thanks to my patience, really,” said Miyako with a laugh, posing with Masao and other family members in front of a framed certificate at the nursing home where they live.
“I am so grateful that it brings me tears,” she told Reuters.
The Matsumotos never managed to have a wedding as Japan was heading into war and Masao was sent overseas as a soldier, but that was no obstacle to having a big family — including a 25th great-grandchild who was born last month.
“They’ve entered the last chapter of their life. It was an honor (for them) to receive this award. I would love them to continue living a peaceful life,” said daughter Hiromi.
Japanese have among the longest life expectancies in the world, with data from Japan’s health ministry showing they rank No.2 on average at around 84, just a smidgeon behind people from Hong Kong.
The record for oldest married couple ever by aggregate age still belongs to Norwegians Karl and Gurdren Dolven, who had a combined age of 210 years, 1 month and 34 days when Gurdrun died in 2004, according to Guinness World Records.


Kim, Trump impersonators draw ire of Vietnam’s authorities

Updated 8 min 50 sec ago
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Kim, Trump impersonators draw ire of Vietnam’s authorities

  • The duo has been making rounds of Hanoi, taking pictures with curious onlookers ahead of the second summit of the two leaders next week

HANOI, Vietnam: Vietnamese authorities are not amused by the antics of two impersonators of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.
The duo has been making rounds of Hanoi, taking pictures with curious onlookers ahead of the second summit of the two leaders next week.
However, on late Friday, a Kim lookalike, the Hong Kong-based impersonator who uses the name Howard X, posted on Facebook that about 15 police or immigration officers demanded a mandatory “interview” with them following a talk they gave at the state-run VTV1 channel.
“They then said that this was a very sensitive time in the city due to the Trump/Kim summit and that our impersonation was causing a ‘disturbance’ and ... suggested that we do not do the impersonation in public for the duration of our stay as these presidents have many enemies and that it was for our own safety.”
According to Howard X, there was a back-and-forth with an unnamed Vietnamese officer who “did not seem pleased with my answer” and threatened the impersonators with deportation, saying they were breaking immigration rules. Finally, he said they were driven back to their hotel and told to stay put until authorities decide how to treat them.
“Although I am not surprised that I got detained for doing my impersonation in Vietnam, it’s still pretty annoying. What it shows is that Vietnam has a long way to go before they will be a developed country and I wonder if they ever will under these conditions,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “If the Vietnamese authorities are willing to give this kind of harassment over something as trivial as an impersonation to a high-profile foreigner, imagine what all the Vietnamese artists, musicians, film producers and all the political activists have to endure for simply wanting to release a controversial film, songs or for simply speaking up about real injustices in this country.”
Vietnam is a tightly controlled communist country that tolerates no dissent.
Howard X was also questioned by Singaporean immigration authorities when he and his colleague appeared in the city-state for the first Kim-Trump summit last June.
The impersonator’s real name is Lee Howard Ho Wun.