A little after 5:30 p.m. on the evening of October 26, a black minivan pulled out of the Hotel Grand Ark Hanzomon in Hanzomon, Tokyo. In the backseat were Kei Komuro, 30, smiling, and Mako Akishino, 30, the eldest daughter of the Akishino family, staring ahead.
“The two left the hotel where the wedding conference was held and headed for a short-term apartment in Shibuya Ward. The condominium is a facility that is sometimes used by foreign professional baseball players, and was apparently chosen for its location and security. Security will be provided by the Metropolitan Police Department 24 hours a day, and Mako’s personal care will be taken care of by people associated with the Imperial Family. This is in line with the customary practice of the Imperial Family, as was the case with Sayako Kuroda’s marriage in 2005,” said a reporter from the Imperial Household Agency of a national newspaper.
On the same day, the marriage registration of Kei and Mako was accepted. The wedding press conference was held at 2:00 p.m. on the same day, but there was no question-and-answer session because some of the questions submitted in advance “might give the impression that incorrect information is true,” and the answers were changed to written answers. As a result, the press conference lasted only “11 minutes.
“As a result, the press conference lasted only 11 minutes. I was at work when the press conference was held, so I watched the video on the night of the event. It had been a while since I had seen Kei speak, and I thought his face and manner of speaking had become much more mature. As a citizen, I would like to congratulate the couple on their marriage. However, there were some things that made me feel uncomfortable when I watched the press conference.
That’s what Mr. A, the former fiancée of Kei’s mother, Kayo, told me. At the press conference, Kei responded as follows to the “4 million yen financial trouble” that had been the focus of most attention.
The details of the alleged financial trouble between my mother and her ex-fiancé were announced in April of this year. As I wrote in the document I released, my mother and I have thanked my ex-fiancee from time to time, and I am still grateful to her.
How did Mr. A view this press conference? On the night of the press conference, I spoke to Mr. A. He said, “First of all, I would like to explain the details in writing.
“What did Mr. A think of the press conference? I was curious about the fact that ‘my mother and I had thanked him from time to time. In the past ten years or so, Kayo and Kei have never said anything to thank us.
Mr. A continued to live in a different room in the same apartment building after his engagement to Kayo was called off in 2012. The two of them saw each other from time to time, but they only exchanged greetings. This is the first time I’ve seen her.
“I’ve moved out of the apartment now, but I haven’t changed my cell phone number or landline. I have moved out of the apartment, but I haven’t changed my cell phone or landline numbers for a long time because I thought I might hear from Kei or Kayo someday. However, I did not hear anything from them, not even a thank you for the money I gave them. Nevertheless, I think it is strange to say that we thanked them from time to time.
At the press conference, Kei spoke about the Komuro family’s proposal for direct negotiations between Kei and Mr. A. “I think it would be strange to say, ‘I thanked you from time to time,'” Kei said.
“I have received a positive response from my ex-fiancee through a reporter from a weekly magazine who is the contact person for my ex-fiancee. I would like to respond as much as I can to help resolve the issue. My desire to have you receive the settlement money has not changed.”
Mr. A continued.
Mr. A continued, “I thought that Kayo-san was the one to negotiate the money, but when she offered to negotiate directly with me, I decided to accept it. So I proposed to the other party to meet Kei before the October 26th press conference. This was because I wanted to send them off with a good feeling. However, their representative didn’t give us a favorable response, citing Kei’s schedule and security issues.
In the end, we even suggested that they meet in a separate room at the hotel before the press conference. We thought that if we met at the hotel, the security issue would be cleared up. Even so, they didn’t give us a clear answer, and at this point, we don’t have any plans for negotiations. I don’t know why they didn’t want to meet with me before the press conference. And yet, I strongly questioned why they said at the press conference that they had received a positive response.
Yuji Odabe, professor emeritus at Shizuoka University of Social Welfare, said.
Yuji Odabe, a professor emeritus at Shizuoka University of Social Welfare, said, “Because of Mako’s health condition, I think it was unavoidable for her to answer the questions in writing. However, I think that Mr. Komuro should have stayed at the venue to answer questions. I don’t think the public’s understanding was gained through this press conference.
Mako’s passport is expected to be issued around mid-November. Mr. A says, “I’ve been telling you for some time that the two of them will be staying in an apartment in Shibuya Ward for a while to prepare for their trip to the United States.
“As I have been saying for some time, I believe that their financial troubles and their marriage are two separate issues. However, I thought it was strange that they talked about things that weren’t true at the press conference and didn’t try to explain everything.
What is Kei going to do now that she has missed out on what should have been her “chance to win”?
From “FRIDAY” November 12, 2021 issue
Photo by： Shinji Hamasaki