At around 10:00 p.m. on November 12, as we were leaving Tokyo on the Kanagawa 1 Yokohane line of the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway, a small man sitting in the back seat muttered to me, “I apologized.
“I apologized to him. I was watching him say ‘I’m sad’ over and over again. ……”
This man is Mr. A, the former fiancé of Kei Komuro’s mother, Kayo. “He” refers to Mr. Komuro. On this day, “direct negotiations” between Ms. Komuro and Mr. A took place at the office of the lawyer representing the Komuro family in Omotesando (Minato-ku), Tokyo. Immediately after the negotiations, this magazine conducted an exclusive interview with Mr. A in the car (everything in parentheses below is his statement).
“In the negotiations, we were presented with a ‘written confirmation’ from the other side. I had planned to take the document home with me. However, I decided to sign it on the spot. My agent, who was present at the negotiation, said to me, “Mr. A, are you sure you want to sign it? But I signed the confirmation with a feeling of resignation. The money was returned to me, but I was left with a sense of helplessness.
About two years and four months have passed since Mr. A began negotiating with the Komuro family regarding the “4 million yen financial trouble. At last, he was able to negotiate directly with Mr. Komuro, and the Komuro family decided to pay him. So, why is Mr. A so downhearted? Mr. A will tell us all about the “two years and four months” that he spent confronting the Komuros.
The negotiations between Mr. A and the Komuro family began in July 2007. In fact, the negotiations stalled right after they started.
“As soon as the negotiations started, Naoshi Kamishiba, the lawyer representing the other side, demanded that we sign a letter of commitment. I was not satisfied with the content of the letter, and negotiations were temporarily halted.
The letter of assurance referred to Mr. A as “A,” Ms. Kayo as “B,” and referred to the financial trouble as “this case,” and stated as follows
A (including A’s agent) and B A (including A’s agent) and B mutually promise to keep secret the existence and contents of this letter of assurance, the existence and contents of this agreement, and any other matters related to this case, not only during the continuation of this agreement, but also after the termination of this agreement (regardless of whether this case has been finally settled or not).
The important part is the phrase “regardless of whether or not the matter has been finally resolved.
The important part is the phrase “regardless of whether or not this matter has been finally settled,” which means that once I signed this document, even if the other side suddenly canceled negotiations or reneged on their promise to me, I would not be able to talk about it to any media outlet. I suspected that they just wanted to put me in a position where I couldn’t say anything.
From that point on, we did have some discussions, but Mr. A recalls, “It was not what I would call an equal discussion. The other party’s representative asked him about the date and circumstances of the money he had given to Kayo, and when Mr. A answered, he was accused of “wrong timing” and “not matching the details.
Mr. A felt frustrated that the negotiations were taking so long, and felt guilty that he was becoming an obstacle to their marriage. In November 2008, he told “Shukan Gendai” that he would no longer ask for a refund of 4 million yen. However, in April of this year, Mr. Komuro released the 28-page “Komuro Document. Mr. A distrusted the attitude of the Komuro family, but decided to come to the negotiating table again.
When Mr. Komuro returned to Japan at the end of September, the situation took a sudden turn for the worse, and Mr. A consistently insisted that Ms. Kayo was the one negotiating the financial dispute. Mr. A accepted the proposal and began to arrange a specific date.
During this period, Mr. A sent letters to Ms. Kayo and Mr. Komuro in early August and mid-October.
Mr. A wrote to Ms. Kamo and Mr. Komuro in early August and mid-October, saying, “It was unclear to me how much of my story was being conveyed to them by their representatives. So I wrote to them to tell them my honest feelings, but I never received any reply.
From late October to early November, the Komuro family repeatedly offered dates and then cancelled them. However, Mr. Komuro, who was about to go to the United States, did not have much time left. So the date proposed by the Komuro family was November 12.
“The date was also decided at the last minute, but what made things even more difficult was the location. We suggested a conference room at a hotel in Tokyo, but they refused, saying that they wanted to avoid hotels. In the end, we decided to hold the meeting the day before the negotiation at the office of lawyer Ueshiba, which was their choice. We couldn’t decide on the number of people to negotiate with until the very last minute, whether it would be the two of us or the four of us, including our respective representatives.
The other party’s representative sent me a template of the agreement that was to be exchanged in the negotiations via e-mail beforehand. The other side’s representative sent us a template of the agreement to be exchanged in the negotiations by e-mail, but it said, “We will prepare several patterns (for the agreement). Because of the aforementioned affirmation, Mr. A and his representative decided to “receive the document at the negotiation and bring it back once. He did so, and went to the negotiation.
In the negotiations, he kept repeating, “It’s sad. He said, ‘I’m very sad that you unilaterally broke off the engagement with my mother, and that you exposed various things to the weekly magazines. As I have told you many times, the reason why I broke off my engagement with Kayo was because I couldn’t stand her repeated requests for money. I was not satisfied with the situation where he was pretending that the debt did not exist, so I told the media the facts that had happened around me.
However, throughout the negotiations, he had a sad and envious look on his face. For a while, he was like a child to me. He told me he was ‘sad,’ and I couldn’t help but apologize.”
At the end of the negotiations, Mr. Komuro brought up the subject of settlement money. The letter of confirmation presented by the other side was quite simple. The following is the text. In the actual document, the name “A” is written under Mr. A’s real name.
A and Kayo Komuro have been involved in a case in which their past relationship has been reported in weekly magazines and various other media since December 2009 (this case refers to the so-called “financial trouble” or “debt problem”). (This refers to the so-called “financial trouble” or “debt problem”; hereinafter referred to as “this matter”). We hereby mutually confirm that we have today reached a final settlement of this matter and all issues surrounding this matter. In addition, A will receive 4,093,000 yen as a settlement of this matter.
Below that, there was only the date and a space for both parties’ signatures.
“I was expecting some kind of condition to be attached to the confirmation letter, but my expectations were wrong. There was no such clause as a non-disclosure agreement. I had hoped that the negotiations would be a little more relaxed and that we could offer each other words of sympathy. However, it did not work out that way. During the negotiations, I asked him, “Where do you live in New York? I asked.
I was hoping to soften the mood a little, but he said, “I’m a private person. I guess he wanted me not to pry into his affairs, but I thought there was nothing I could do about it. However, I didn’t want to get caught up in this problem any longer. So, I changed my original plan and signed the confirmation on the spot.
On November 15, three days after the negotiations, the settlement money was transferred in a lump sum of 4,093,000 yen, and the name of the payee was somehow changed to “Bengoshi Ueshiva.
I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with the money yet,” she said. I don’t live a comfortable life, so I may use it to pay for living expenses, or I may use it to repair my parents’ house, which is falling apart all over the place. In any case, I am happy that the money has been returned to me. However, there is still a feeling of unpleasantness in my heart.
In the past, Prince Akishino listed as a condition for the marriage of Ms. Komuro and Ms. Mako “a situation that many people will accept and be happy with. I don’t think this settlement is going to be like that.
From the December 3, 2021 issue of FRIDAY
Photo by： Ippei Hara (Mr. Komuro after negotiations, letter) Keisuke Nishi (Kayo) Shinji Hamasaki (Haneda Airport)