Wed, October 27, 2021


[Japan] Princess Mako to marry this year

Princess Mako, the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Akishino, will marry Kei Komuro this year, sources have said. The princess, 29, and Komuro are not planning to hold engagement or wedding ceremonies.

If these events ultimately do not take place, it would be the first time in postwar history for a marriage involving a member of the Imperial family.

The princess has also expressed her intention to refuse the financial settlement she would normally receive when leaving the Imperial family upon her marriage, according to the sources. The government is expected to discuss whether it is legally possible for her to not receive the money.

Prince Akishino has approved the marriage, and the couple plans to submit their marriage registration to the local government this year, according to the sources. However, they might postpone this until next year depending on the situation with the pandemic.

The prince said at a press conference in November 2018 that he believed the engagement ceremony could not take place “unless there is a situation in which many people are content [with the marriage] and happy [for the couple],” apparently a reference to the financial trouble between Komuro’s mother and her former fiance. He then urged Komuro’s side to take “appropriate measures.”

Komuro released statements in January 2019 and in April this year, explaining the circumstances of the financial trouble. However, the situation has not necessarily reached a point where many people would celebrate the marriage.

Given this and the pandemic, it is now being discussed whether to skip the Nosai-no-Gi (Ceremony of Betrothal), a wedding ceremony and other related rituals.

Princess Mako is said to have informed people around her of her intention to decline the money due to public criticism over the financial problems involving Komuro’s mother.

The Imperial Household Finance Law stipulates that a member of the Imperial family receives a one-time payment upon leaving, to help them maintain their dignity.

Since the end of World War II, all female members of the Imperial family have received such a sum upon their marriage — judging by past examples, Princess Mako would receive about ¥137 million.

The specific amount to be paid has so far been determined by the committee on the Imperial household’s finances, consisting of eight people including the prime minister, the speaker of the lower house and the president of the upper house. But the committee has never discussed whether the money should be paid in the first place.

“Declining the money is unprecedented. We may have to change the interpretation of the Imperial Household Finance Law,” said an official of the Imperial Household Agency.

Princess Mako and Komuro were classmates at International Christian University, and after five years of dating, their engagement was unofficially confirmed in September 2017. However, they postponed their marriage in February 2018 after a weekly magazine reported on the financial problems, saying they “did not have enough time to make sufficient preparations” for the wedding events and life after marriage.

Komuro enrolled in a law school in New York State in August 2018. He completed his studies in May and took the bar exam in the state in July. His test results will be announced by mid-December.

Komuro is in the process of getting a job at a law firm in the U.S., and it is believed that the economic foundation of his life, which had been a bottleneck, is now in place.

After the marriage, Princess Mako will leave the Imperial family and is expected to start a new life in the United States.

In a statement released in November 2020, Princess Mako reiterated her strong desire to marry, saying, “Marriage is a necessary choice for us to live.”

In response, Prince Akishino expressed his intention to approve the marriage. Speaking at a press conference held the same month, the prince cited Article 24 of the Constitution, which stipulates, “Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes.”

Published : September 02, 2021