Japanese Princess Mako will marry her fiancé, a former college classmate, on October 26, officials said on Friday, after years of intense scrutiny and criticism that cast her engagement in an unflattering light.
Emperor Naruhito’s 29-year-old niece got engaged to Kei Komuro, 29, in 2017, and the two initially drew the public to announce the event with their smiles at each other at a press conference.
But tabloid reports soon surfaced about a financial dispute between Komuro’s mother and her former fiancée, and the wedding was postponed until early 2018. In August of that year Komuro went to the United States to attend law school, and did not return until Monday.
The Imperial Household Agency, which runs the life of the royal family, announced the wedding date at a news conference.
He also said the princess suffered from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the Kyodo news agency reported – echoing the condition of Queen Masako, who has been battling “adjustment disorder” for years.
Mako would leave the royal family after her wedding, as is customary. Media reports said none of the ceremonies that usually accompany a royal wedding would take place, and that the princess would have to pay the one million dollars in a lump sum she is entitled to.
The report said the couple will register their marriage at a local government office, adjusting royal family records that Princess Mako has left it.
Controversy over the pair’s marriage began when a newspaper reported claims by the former fiancé of Komuro’s mother that the mother and son had failed to pay a debt of approximately $35,000. Komuro has said that his mother’s former fiancé gave the money as a gift, not a loan.
The scandal spread from the tabloids to the regular news media and gained even more life when members of the royal family were prompted to speak up. Komuro himself issued a detailed statement this year.
Comuro completed his studies at Fordham Law School this year and took the bar exam that will allow him to practice law this summer. According to media reports, he has secured a job as a clerk in a law office in the United States of America.
He flew to Tokyo late Monday for his first trip in three years, sporting a ponytail that set off widespread tabloid and television discussion about whether he was abusive.
A recent survey by the daily Mainichi showed that 38% of respondents supported marriage, 35% opposed it, and 26% showed no interest.
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