While the Emperor’s family is worth less than 900 million yen, Akishino’s residence is worth 5 billion yen… Kako’s “living alone” demands a satisfactory explanation. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

While the Emperor’s family is worth less than 900 million yen, Akishino’s residence is worth 5 billion yen… Kako’s “living alone” demands a satisfactory explanation.

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Princess Kako waves a yellow towel after attending the “Doremifa Dance Concert” this July (PHOTO: Kyodo News)

The issue of Kako’s so-called “living alone” has caused a stir,” said a journalist from the Imperial Household.

On June 30, the Imperial Household Agency publicly acknowledged the incident for the first time. The renovation of the residence began in March of 2008, following the appointment of Prince Akishino as heir to the throne.

Prior to that, the family’s temporary residence was completed in February 2007 at a cost of approximately 980 million yen. Meanwhile, the renovation of the residence was announced at a cost of 3.466 billion yen, which means that a total of over 4.4 billion yen was spent on the renovation of the residence. Of course, this is a taxpayer-funded expense.

When the renovation of the residence was completed and the family was scheduled to move out in March of this year, only Kako was to continue living in a temporary residence.

As mentioned above, the temporary residence cost a little less than 1 billion yen and was to be used as an office for the staff, but some of the specifications have been changed so that it will be used as Kako’s private room.

Private space and staff work space are the same

The fact that Kako’s private space and the staff’s work space are in the same space has led to additional construction work starting this fall.

According to the Imperial Household Agency’s explanation, they did not set up rooms for Kako and Mako in the palace residence in order to save costs. However, it seems to me that having Kako live alone has conversely increased expenses. If this is not the case, I feel that it would be better to give an explanation that would satisfy the public, but there seems to be no such movement.

It is said that five new buildings, including an office building, a warehouse building, two garage buildings, and a garbage collection point, will be constructed for the Imperial Household staff in charge of the Akishino family.

The original intention was to use them as staff offices, but it is believed that they were squeezed out because of the need to provide living space for Princess Kako. The amount of the bid is estimated to be about 474 million yen, which together with a series of Akishinomiya residence projects is estimated to be close to 5 billion yen”.

Meanwhile, in September 2009, the Emperor and his family began living in the newly renovated Imperial Palace and New Imperial Palace, which was estimated to cost approximately 870 million yen.

The cost of the renovations was about 870 million yen. “It may be unreasonable to put the Akishino Palace project in the same category as this one, but it is said that since the total floor space is almost the same, it is not surprising that the two projects are being compared. We are also hearing harsh comments such as, ‘What does it take to cost 5 billion yen?

Of course, it is not a bad thing to live alone. The lack of an explanation that satisfies the public has resulted in a “rush” from various quarters that would have been avoided under normal circumstances. The Imperial Household has walked with the people, and it has been pointed out within the Imperial Household Agency that a proper explanation is required from time to time.

The cost of “living alone” that Kako has embarked on is likely to be unexpectedly large.

  • PHOTO Kyodo News

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