“Emmanuel Gbevegnon met his wife, Eriko Hidaka, in 1995 in Niger. Eriko, a native of Yakushima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, was there to help with vaccination activities, using her experience as a nurse. Emmanuel, a native of the city of Cotonou in Benin, a country next to Niger with a population of about 9.3 million, was there on business.

Emmanuel met Eriko at a community event to introduce Japanese culture in Niamey, Niger’s capital. About three years on from that encounter, the couple married in Benin and moved to Japan in 1999.

Eriko, 45, works as a nurse, while Emmanuel, 47, currently works as a translator, teacher and photojournalist.”

Click here to read more of Kazuaki Nigata’s Japan Times article.