“On the morning of September 1, when I opened the Internet on my computer at work, I saw the news, ‘Princess Mako to marry within the year,’ and I was very surprised. I am very happy for the couple’s marriage itself. However, I can’t help but feel surprised and doubtful about the way things are going.
On September 1, following the Yomiuri Shimbun’s report that Princess Mako Akishino (29) and Mr. Komuro are expected to marry within the year, Mr. A, the former fiancee of Kei Komuro’s mother, Kayo, gave an exclusive interview to this magazine.
(The “Mako and Kei Komuro marriage issue,” which had been in a state of calm, has begun to move again. It all started with the aforementioned “marriage within the year” report. It is said that Mr. Komuro is in the process of getting a job at a law firm in the U.S., and now that the bottleneck in his life is in place, he will take the next step toward marriage.
“Mako and Komuro wanted to marry at any cost, and Prince Akishino and Princess Noriko were unable to stop them. The reason why the news came out at this time is probably because the Akishino family has a lot of events to attend from autumn to the end of the year, such as the birthday press conferences of Princess Noriko and Prince Akishino. If the issue of their marriage remains in limbo, the members of the Akishino family will be forced to make explanations at every press conference,” said a reporter from the Imperial Household Agency.
The couple is planning to live a new life in New York and will not hold any engagement or marriage ceremonies. There will be no “nousai ceremony,” which is the equivalent of a betrothal ceremony, and no “asami ceremony,” in which the couple will greet the Emperor and Empress on their departure from the Imperial Household, making this an “elopement marriage.
However, there are dark clouds hanging over the couple’s departure. First of all, the “4 million yen financial trouble” that started it all has not been resolved. In April of this year, the Komuro family released a 28-page “Komuro Document” in which they reaffirmed that the 4 million yen was not a debt. Mr. A says, “When we talked about the settlement money, I was surprised.
Mr. A said, “After the settlement money was mentioned, I started to contact the Komuro family again through my agent. What I have consistently asked is, ‘Can’t you meet and talk with Kayo directly? I believe that there are many things that can be resolved by talking directly with her. In the course of negotiations, the other side’s representative once said something to the effect of, “We can let you meet with Ms. Kayo. However, this was cancelled due to Kayo’s physical condition.
I asked her to tell me in writing what she thought about the 4 million yen issue, but there was no response. At this point, we are not even at the negotiating table.
There is no end to the list of reasons for concern. In the case of Princess Mako, it is said that the lump-sum payment to be paid when a female member of the Imperial Family leaves the Imperial Family is approximately 137 million yen. It has been reported that Mako may decline this lump sum. It is believed that this is to avoid public outcry, but it seems that it will not be easy.
“The expenditure of the lump-sum payment is regulated by the Imperial Household Economy Law. No matter how much she says she doesn’t want it, if she doesn’t spend it, it will be a violation of the law,” said Shuichi Kanda, an Imperial Household journalist.
If they are going to live overseas, there are also issues such as what to do about security. Mr. A said, “A lot of people are talking about this marriage.
“I think that many people have doubts and discomfort about this marriage. Even after the publication of the Komuro documents, I have not heard anything from Kei or Kayo. I think that they should give a proper explanation to the public as well as to me.
There is still work to be done before the unprecedented elopement.
From “FRIDAY” September 24, 2021 issue
Photography： Shinji Hasuo Keisuke Nishi