Japanese celebrity couple Ryoko Shinohara and Masaki Ichimura have called it quits on their marriage.

As reported on Epoch Times, the couple surprised many by announcing their divorce on 24 July, with their management agency revealing that they have filed for divorce at a district office in Tokyo.

In a statement released by Masaki, the 72 year-old revealed that he has been living separately from his family last year due to the pandemic in order to focus on his work.

“However, as more work comes my way, I realised that being separated became a basic lifestyle and I started thinking things differently as a husband, a parent, and an actor,” he said.

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The couple raised eyebrows when they got married in 2005 as Masaki Ichimura is 25 years older to his young wife

As for Ryoko, the 47 year-old actress expressed, “Before and after marriage, I respect Masaki Ichimura and always learn a lot from him. This has not changed until now. He has cared for me… I think it may be difficult for everyone to understand, but after the conversation, we want to create new things in our own way.”

As for the custody of their children, the “Tsuki no Koibito” actress stated that they have agreed to let Masaki take care of their two sons, with the hope that the children will be able to rely on their father.

“We have talked about it and I will still communicate with the children more than ever as a mother in the future, and support the children strongly,” she said.

The couple tied the knot in December 2005 after meeting through a stage play. Their first son was born in 2008, while their second child in February 2012.

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The couple met working in a stage play

(Photo Source: ET Today, Bastille Post)