Japan’s princess Mako, boyfriend Komuro to marry by year-end
Written by tokyoclub on September 1, 2021
File photo shows Princess Mako (R) and Kei Komuro attending a press conference in Tokyo on Sept. 3, 2017. (Kyodo)
Princess Mako, a niece of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, and her boyfriend Kei Komuro will marry by the end of the year, but without holding the related ritual ceremonies in a rare decision, a government source said Wednesday.
The marriage between the couple, who are both 29, has been postponed for over two years following reports of trouble between Komuro’s mother and her former fiance over money, including Komuro’s educational expenses, which the man shouldered.
According to the source, the Imperial Household Agency is planning to skip traditional marriage ceremonies, given the financial troubles on the Komuro family side.
It would be very rare for a female member of the Japanese imperial family to marry without the related ritual ceremonies.
The princess will likely decline a lump-sum payment to be offered upon her departure from the imperial family, and it is believed the couple will live in the United States once married, the source said.
Crown Prince Fumihito, the emperor’s younger brother, has said he approves of his daughter’s marriage to Komuro but suggested it has to be welcomed by a so-far skeptical public.
“I mean, I approve of them getting married. The Constitution says marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes. If that is what they really want, then I think that is something I need to respect as a parent,” the crown prince said last November at a press conference held on his 55th birthday.
In April, Komuro issued a statement expressing his resolve to tie the knot with the princess, saying their feelings toward marriage remain unchanged.
Princess Mako indicated her hope that the statement to address the monetary dispute involving Komuro’s mother would help gain more public understanding of his stance.
“I would appreciate if people could understand there were various circumstances (behind the dispute) by reading the document,” Princess Mako was quoted as saying by an official of the agency.
Komuro and Mako, Crown Prince Fumihito’s eldest daughter, met in 2012 as students at International Christian University in Tokyo. They were unofficially engaged in September 2017.
Komuro, who previously worked at a Tokyo law firm as a paralegal, took the New York state bar examination in July after graduating from Fordham University’s law school in New York State with a Juris Doctor degree in May.
He started studying at the law school in August 2018 after his planned marriage with Mako was abruptly delayed following reports of the financial dispute.