A Complicated Engagement for Princess Mako

On November 20, Prince Akishino of Japan’s royal family discussed his eldest daughter’s marriage at a press conference. Despite rumors that the marriage has not been recognized, during the conference he used the word “recognize” to describe their marriage for the first time publicly. His daughter, Princess Mako, has recently come forward about her feelings of marriage, and made a public announcement on the 13th of November stating, “marriage is a necessary decision for us in order to live while staying true to our feelings.” Her partner is 29-year-old Kei Komuro, the princess’s classmate whom she met during her studies at the International Christian University in Tokyo. In September of 2017, Kei and Princess Mako announced their engagement, but the official ceremony was soon postponed the same year due to trouble with her fiance.

Prince Akishino discussed his eldest daughter’s marriage at a press conference. Image from https://japan-forward.com

Following their engagement announcement back in 2017, Kei Komuro has been under media scrutiny for his family’s money troubles. An unpaid debt owed by his mother has led to online complaints about his character and a lack of recognition from Princess Mako’s family. During this time, Prince Akishino had publicly announced that if a response that pleases everyone cannot be produced, then there would be no wedding ceremony.

Kei Korumo and Princess Mako during their engagement announcement back in September 2017.

A Long-Awaited Recognition

In January of 2019, Kei Korumo announced that his mother’s financial troubles, which had been the biggest barrier between him and Mako’s marriage, had been completely resolved. Following the recent recognition by the prince, the man who had been tied to the Korumo family’s financial troubles also came forward. The man was the former fiance of Kei’s mother and was owed 4 million Yen. He has also suddenly stated that he no longer needs any money from the family and that any debts no longer need to be paid. His explanation was not well-received, and many still suspect him of aiming for the royal family’s assets. When a female member of the royal family marries a commoner, the couple receives 100 million Yen in compensation. This point has led people to persist in their suspicions.

Despite Prince Akishino’s strict expectations, given the Princess’s recent statements on the importance of marriage and the resolving of debt, it seems that he has finally accepted his daughter’s wishes. During his conference, Prince Akishino stated that “if there is a strong will, then I must respect that.” However, the prince went on to clarify that an explanation is still owed to the people for the original cause of the financial troubles. It seems that Akishino will accept the marriage between two people, but hinted that the marriage may still not be accepted by the imperial family.