A Japanese comedian is facing criticism after announcing his marriage to an actress 18 years younger than him.
On November 13, it was reported that 37-year-old comedian Yuki Iwai, a member of the popular comedy duo Haraichi, announced his marriage to 19-year-old actress Satsuki Okumori.
Iwai shared through his agency that he decided to marry the actress and revealed that they started dating at the beginning of this year. He confessed to falling in love with her strong core and way of life, and while dating, he realized she was someone he could respect. He claimed he would do his best as a husband and asked fans for their support.
Okumori also shared her story of falling in love with Iwai, saying she had always admired him, and while dating him, he became a “precious person” she wanted to protect. She shared that when she saw Iwai’s self-discipline and uncompromising approach to work, she was convinced she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Iwai.
The two first met six years ago when they appeared on the same TV program. People were concerned when they found out Okumori was 13 years old when they met, and the show they filmed was TV Tokyo‘s Oha Suta: The Super Kids Station, a children’s variety show.
Some online reactions expressed concerns, saying, “They first met when he was 31, and she was 13, and this raises the possibility of grooming,” “Honestly, it’s hard to congratulate this. In the entertainment industry, marrying with an 18-year age gap is not uncommon, but a 19-year-old marrying someone 18 years older is risky in many ways,” and “Isn’t this a Lolita complex?”
On the other hand, many people congratulated the couple, leaving messages on their social media and sharing their age-gap relationship stories.
As the news sparked responses online, Iwai announced that he would discuss his marriage-related story on TBS Radio‘s Hairichi’s Turn on November 16.