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A meeting was arranged between them in Nara Park, where they had their first date

Although most couples have experienced a long and awkward period of silence after a row it is unlikely to compare to a husband and wife who have not spoken for two decades – but continue to live with each other.

Otou Katayama, from Nara, southern Japan, continues to live with his three children and wife, Yumi, who perseveres in making conversation with him but has only ever received a nod or a grunt in response for 20 years.

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The couple on their wedding day

The Japanese couple’s silence was revealed by their 18-year-old son Yoshiki, who wrote into a TV show asking them to fix the situation as he had never heard them have a conversation.

And sure enough, a meeting was arranged between them in the park where they had their first date, as their emotional children watched on.

‘Somehow it’s been a while since we talked.

You were so concerned about the kids.

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

Otou later explained that he has been giving her the cold shoulder out of jealously for the attention and care the children get.

He said on the show: ‘I was kind of… jealous. I was sulking about it.

‘There’s no going back now I guess.’

See more photos below;

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A meeting was arranged between them in Nara Park, where they had their first date
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Their son Yoshiki (second from right), who wrote into a TV show asking them to fix the situation as he had never heard them have a conversation
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Their emotional children – who have not heard their parents utter a word in conversation – watched on as it unfolded