Ex-AKB48 idol Miki Nishino, 23, marries comedian 31 years older

J-idol Miki Nishino and comedian Keiichi Yamamoto announced their marriage on social media on Tuesday.
PHOTO: Twitter/Miki Nishino

TOKYO – J-pop idol Miki Nishino, 23, a former member of Japanese girl group AKB48, announced on Japan's Good Couples Day that she had tied the knot with comedian Keiichi Yamamoto, 54, of comedy duo Gokuraku Tombo.

Falling on Nov 22, Good Couples Day is a play on the numbers "11" and "22", which can be pronounced as ii fufu – similar to "good couple" in Japanese.

Nishino shared two wedding photos on social media and wrote in Japanese: "Despite the age difference of 32 years, we feel comfortable with each other and did not notice the difference."

Nishino, who joined AKB48 in 2012 and "graduated" from the group five years later, said she can be herself when she is with Yamamoto.

"I hope Yamamoto-san can be healthy forever, so we can make meals together, walk together and be a good couple forever," she added.

Yamamoto also shared the good news on his social media accounts, saying he will listen to his wife and live a healthy life, so they can be together as long as possible.

The couple, who got to know each other through a variety show, also announced their marriage on his YouTube channel on Tuesday and shared wedding photos on social media on Wednesday.

The news garnered great interest on social media not only because of the age gap, but also due to Yamamoto's past.

In 2006, he was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl after a night out in Hokkaido and was questioned by the police. He reached a settlement with the victim, but his image was affected by the incident and his contract was terminated by his agency.

He disappeared from the entertainment industry for almost 10 years before making a return in 2016.

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This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.