Dear Ms. Kayo Komuro, The other day, I heard from Mr. Ueshiba, the lawyer who is representing me in my request. He told me that your health is very bad and I am very worried about you.
There is a letter on three sheets of letterhead that begins with this sentence. It was addressed to Kayo, the mother of Kei Komuro (29). The sender is Kayo’s former fiancé, Mr. A. The “lawyer Ueshiba” refers to Naofumi Ueshiba, the lawyer representing the Komuro family.
On September 27, Mr. Komuro returned to Japan from the U.S. for the first time in three years and two months to marry Princess Mako Akishino (29). When the plane carrying Mr. Komuro arrived at Narita Airport, it was overflowing with reporters and spectators.
“At Narita Airport, a strict security system was put in place by the Chiba Prefectural Police. It seems that the Imperial Household Agency arranged the transportation, but Mr. Komuro paid the fare. Mr. Komuro is scheduled to attend a press conference after spending two weeks in isolation at his home in Yokohama City, but the most important point is how he will explain his ‘financial troubles.
The wedding press conference between Mr. Komuro and Princess Mako is expected to be held sometime between October 12, when the quarantine period ends, and October 20, the birthday of the Empress. In the midst of all this, this magazine has obtained exclusive access to important evidence regarding the negotiation of the “4 million yen financial trouble,” which is the main focus of this press conference. This is the “letter” mentioned at the beginning of this article.
“This letter was written by me in late July. I’m embarrassed to say that there are some typos and sloppy expressions, but it’s all in my own handwriting. I thought Kayo would be surprised if I mailed it to her home, so I decided to give it to her agent.
In fact, I typed the contents of the letter again on my computer and sent it by e-mail to the agent in early August. While I thought it would be better if the contents I sent were properly recorded, I also thought that a content-certified mail would give too cold an impression. So this letter is the ‘original’.”
Let’s take a brief look back at the process of negotiations. In April this year, Mr. Komuro released a 28-page “Komuro Document” in which he reiterated his claim that the 4 million yen was not a debt. However, when he received a huge public outcry, he announced just four days later that he was ready to pay Mr. A a settlement.
Despite his disbelief at this flip-flop, Mr. A began contacting the Komuro family through his agent again, consistently telling them that Kayo was the one who was in financial trouble and that he wanted to talk to her in person.
In late July, Mr. Kamishiba’s lawyer contacted Mr. A’s representative and told him that he could bring Ms. Kayo to see him. Mr. A said, “I told the other party’s representative that I would not allow Ms. Kayo to see him.
Mr. A said, “I repeatedly told the other party’s representative that I wanted to meet Kayo and talk with her in person. However, I don’t know how much of that has been conveyed to Kayo herself. I thought it would be strange to say, “I’ll let you meet her only once,” when I didn’t know how long it would take to finalize the negotiations. So I decided to write a letter to Kayo directly and tell her what I was thinking.
Since the negotiations between the Komuros and Mr. A began in May 2007, this is the first time that the correspondence between the two parties has been revealed through objective physical evidence. (Corrections to typos and adjustments to paragraphs were made by the editorial staff as necessary.
The reason I asked Kayo to meet with me directly this time is because I wanted to find a way to solve the problem by talking to each other, and since Kei-kun’s letter in April, he has changed his mind and said that he will have the money ready in just four days. The other day, when I had a discussion with lawyer Kamishiba, I told him that I would like to have an explanation from Kayo herself about the contents of Kei’s document released in April this year and the settlement offered after that. So I’m writing this letter with the feeling that I would like to hear directly from Ms. Kayo about why things turned out the way they did.
Mr. A is strongly distrustful of the fact that the Komuro document has been changed to “payment of the settlement. Therefore, he wants to hear directly from Ms. Kayo about the circumstances and reasons for the change. However, in consideration of Kayo’s health, Mr. A made the following proposal.
I don’t expect the discussion to end after just one meeting, but if Ms. Kayo is in a mentally unstable state and we can’t have a thorough discussion, then here is my proposal. I think it is up to Kayo, but I think it would be better to postpone the discussion until she recovers from her condition. If this is not possible, I would like to have an explanation from Kayo in writing first. I think it would be less mentally taxing than going to the meeting, and there would be no time constraints.
No response at all.
Mr. A conceded that he would like to know Kayo’s thoughts, just in writing. The letter is lined with Mr. A’s earnest pleas.
First of all, I wanted to know what Kayo thinks, so I decided to send her this letter. I will refrain from making any unreasonable requests, considering Kayo’s health condition.
In the letter, Mr. A expresses his feelings in a straightforward manner, but at the same time, there are also descriptions throughout the letter that show his concern for Ms. Komuro and Kayo.
At the moment, Kei-kun is living in the U.S., and it must be very lonely for them to live so far away from each other since they are such a close family.
I heard that Kei’s entrance exams have been successfully completed and they are now waiting for the results. I’m sure that Kei-kun, who is a good student, will pass his exams.
For Mr. A, Ms. Komuro was like his own child, albeit for a short time. That is why, even though their relationship has changed as it is now, he is still concerned about their physical condition and emotional state.
However, the Komuro family’s response to Mr. A’s frank letter has not been positive.
“As of now, there has been no response to this letter from Kei or Kayo, or even from their representatives. I would just like to know Kayo’s thoughts in writing. I just thought that by doing so, we might be able to get closer to a solution. Even if you are unable to respond to my request, you can say, “I received your letter. Even if you can’t respond to my request, you can at least reply, “I received your letter, but I’m sorry, I can’t respond to your request. I also think that the offer from the other side to let Kayo see him just once was just to show the world that they were negotiating well.
After a period of isolation, Mr. Komuro will hold a press conference to discuss his marriage to Princess Mako. Mr. Yuji Odabe, a professor emeritus at Shizuoka University of Social Welfare and an expert on the imperial family system, said.
“The former fiancée has asked for talks, but the Komuro family has not responded. I think Ms. Komuro doesn’t understand the seriousness of being the partner of Her Imperial Highness the Princess. He has not fulfilled his accountability, and I have doubts about his ability to handle problems. Once they get married and Mako leaves the imperial family, she will no longer have the same privileges as before. Will he be able to protect Mako under such circumstances? I have serious doubts.
Will Mr. Komuro be able to give a satisfactory explanation to Mr. A and the public at the press conference? The four-year-long issue has now reached its climax.
From the October 15, 2021 issue of FRIDAY
Photo by： Shinji Hamasaki, Takero Yatsuka, Shinji Hasuo, Keisuke Nishi