New York has always been known for its high cost of living. There is no doubt that inflation, against a backdrop of soaring resource and food prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the sharp depreciation of the yen are more troubling than ever for many Japanese living in the area. And Kei Komuro and his wife Mako are no exception.
Mr. and Mrs. Komuro live in a relatively new and luxurious apartment in a neighborhood a little west of the center of Manhattan in New York City, where the rent is reportedly more than 500,000 yen.
On the other hand, Kei Komuro, who works as an assistant at a law firm, is said to earn around 6 million yen a year.
There have been more than a few suggestions that it would be impossible for her to make a living since her income and rent do not match. There were reports that there is a contract with the law firm on the assumption that Kei will pass the bar exam and work as a lawyer, and that around 20 million yen is being paid. Even so, it is hard to say that she can afford to live in New York, where the cost of living is high to begin with, and inflation is a constant factor,” said a journalist from the Imperial Household.
Mako has refused to accept the lump sum of 150 million yen that she was entitled to upon leaving the Imperial Family.
Some have suggested that since she did not receive the lump sum, she may be living off her savings, which are estimated to be as much as 100 or 200 million yen. However, that amount has been dwindling due to the rapid depreciation of the yen since then. ……
In any case, there is concern that it may be difficult for them to maintain their standard of living. A source close to the Akishino family reveals, “In fact, the apartment where they live is actually a place for them to live.
In fact, there is a story that the rent for the apartment they are living in is not as high as reported. However, it is said that the minimum rent for this apartment is not less than 500,000 yen, partly due to the weak yen. This means that we cannot deny the possibility that there was some way to rent the apartment at a discount, or that some sort of ‘allowance’ is being paid from somewhere.
Based on this assumption, even if he fails the New York bar exam, which he plans to take for the third time this month, it does not seem likely that his life plan itself will be affected unless he is fired from his job at the law firm.
Mako seems to be content with her life there, although it is obvious that she will not be able to stay in New York if her source of income is cut off. Although there are paparazzi, she is relaxed about her life in New York, where there is little or no surveillance compared to Japan. The Consulate-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in New York is mainly responsible for supporting the safety aspect of their lives.
There have been numerous questions raised about the two’s lifestyle, such as the fact that their finances do not match, that they could end up on the street, and how they will make ends meet. However, it may be that at least the concerns about rent have been dispelled.
Photo by： Takayuki Ogawauchi