Japanese couple speak to each other for first time in more than 20 years

The pair's children set them up on a TV show and cried as husband Outou Katayama came clean

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A Japanese couple who lived together for 20 years without talking to one another were filmed having an emotional catch-up for Japanese reality TV.

Outou Katayama would reportedly only grunt and nod in response to wife Yumi, despite the pair having three grown-up children.

Their 18-year-old son Yoshiki wrote to a Hokkaido TV show and, along with his 21- and 25-year-old sisters, said he had never heard his parents talk to one another.

A meeting was arranged for the pair on a park bench where their emotional children watched on.

“Somehow it’s been a while since we talked,” said Mr Katayama, from Nara, in southern Japan.

“You were so concerned about the kids.

“Yumi, up until now, you have endured a lot of hardship. I want you to know I’m grateful for everything.”

He said he was envious of the attention she gave the children. “I was kind of … jealous. I was sulking about it. There’s no going back now I guess.”

Background laughter is heard when he recommends they speak again sometime.

It follows reports that Japanese men and women are giving up on dating and are instead simply marrying their friends.

A Government survey this year found 69 per cent of Japanese men and 59 per cent of Japanese women do not have a partner.