After years of controversy, Princess Mako, niece of the Emperor of Japan, got married on Tuesday, October 26, the Imperial Household Agency said, but she gave up the pomp of traditional rites and a large allowance. financial. “The marriage documents have been presented and accepted”, a representative of the Imperial Agency told AFP. Japanese television showed Mako leaving Akasaka’s imperial residence in Tokyo and bidding farewell to his family, bowing to his parents and the press, and hugging his sister.
The imperial institution had clarified earlier this month that the wedding ceremony, reception banquet and other rituals would not take place and that the lump sum payment usually given to women of the imperial household who marry commoners, and up to 153 million yen (1.2 million euros), would not be granted. Emperor Naruhito’s niece, who turned 30 this weekend, lost her royal title when she and Kei Komuro registered their marriage, a usual situation for women of the lineage, but she is the first in the history of post-war Japan to refuse compensation.
Mako and Kei Komuro, who works for an American law firm, announced their engagement in 2017. But the union does not start in the best conditions, the Agency having indicated that the princess suffered from a “complex” syndrome post-traumatic stress disorder due to the media coverage surrounding him and his family. The daughter of Emperor Naruhito’s younger brother has endured years of criticism and procrastination over her marriage plan to also 30-year-old Kei Komuro, who was criticized over allegations her mother borrowed money from a former fiancé and would not have repaid him. This quarrel, which is still not settled, caused a scandal in Japan, where irreproachable behavior is expected from members of the imperial family.
The marriage was postponed and Kei Komuro moved to the United States in 2018 to continue his law studies. He only returned to Japan last month sporting a front page ponytail that he has since cut. The couple are expected to move to New York soon, which inevitably arouses comparisons with another royal couple, British this one: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It is not yet known whether Mako will work once there, but she is well qualified, having studied art and cultural heritage at the International Christian University in Tokyo, where she met Mr Komuro, and spent a year. at the University of Edinburgh. She also holds an MA in Museum Studies from the UK University of Leicester.
The throne can only be passed down to male family members, and the children of royal women who marry commoners are not included. Changing these rules was the subject of debate, and in July a group of government experts compiled notes on the matter, including a proposal to keep royal women in the family, even after their wedding. However, any change to the system is likely to be long in coming, with hard-line supporters and traditionalists vehemently opposing any measures to allow women to rule.