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Wife's patience the secret to couple's 80 years of marriage

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Miyako and Masao with their certificate.  Photo: Reuters

Miyako and Masao with their certificate. Photo: Reuters

Miyako and Masao with their certificate. Photo: Reuters

Japan has the world's oldest living married couple, with a combined age of 208.

Masao Matsumoto (108) and his wife Miyako (100) have been confirmed as the oldest living spouses by aggregate age by Guinness World Records.

The couple married in October 1937.

"I am so glad. It's thanks to my patience really," said Miyako of their 80-year marriage.

Tears

She posed with Masao and other family members in front of a framed world record certificate at the nursing home where they live in the port city of Takamatsu.

"I am so grateful that it brings me tears," Miyako said.

The Matsumotos never managed to have a proper wedding as Japan was heading into war.

Masao was sent overseas as a soldier, but that proved no obstacle in them having a big family. Their 25th great-grandchild was born only last month.

"They've entered the last chapter of their life," said daughter Hiromi.

"It was an honour for them to receive this award. I would love them to continue living a peaceful life."

Japan has an abundance of centenarians and its people have among the longest life expectancies in the world.

Figures from Japan's health ministry show they rank number two on average at around 84, only slightly behind people from Hong Kong.

The record for the oldest married couple ever by aggregate age still belongs to Norwegians Karl and Gurdren Dolven.

They had a combined age of 210 years, one month and 34 days.

Gurdren died in 2004, according to Guinness World Records.


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