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Editorial: Congratulations to Princess Mako, Komuro as they embark on new life

  • October 27, 2021
  • , The Japan News , 11:08 a.m.
  • English Press

Princess Mako, the eldest daughter of Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko, has married. Deepest congratulations are offered as they embark on a new life, about four years after Mako’s unofficial engagement to Kei Komuro.

 

The couple held a press conference after the notice of their marriage was submitted. “We want to walk through life together,” Mako said, while Komuro stated, “We want to build a warm family.”

 

Komuro works at a law firm in New York, and Mako said she is preparing to go to the United States. It is hoped that the two will support each other and have a happy family life.

 

When the engagement was unofficially announced at a press conference in 2017, Mako said she was impressed by Komuro’s “shining smile like the sun,” while Komuro said she “watches me calmly like the moon.”

 

However, the financial troubles of Komuro’s mother were reported in weekly magazines and the engagement was postponed. Crown Prince Akishino later cited “a situation in which many people are satisfied and pleased” as a condition for holding the engagement ceremony.

 

It is regrettable that these troubles were not solved before their marriage. This could affect the public’s image of the Imperial family.

 

None of the related marriage ceremonies took place. The decision reportedly came after the Emperor and Crown Prince Akishino judged that this was not a situation in which many people were satisfied and pleased.

 

Mako also declined to accept a one-time payment made by the government to royals who leave the Imperial family for marriage. It was the first marriage in the Japanese Imperial family since the end of World War II in which no related ceremonies were held and no one-time payment made.

 

Since ancient times, the Imperial family has preserved and passed down Japanese tradition and culture. Not a few Japanese people may feel uncomfortable about the unconventional marriage without related ceremonies.

 

Even under such circumstances, the couple decided to get married largely because Mako remained determined to do so.

 

The two have been constantly defamed, mainly on the internet. Because Mako was diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, a planned question-and-answer session was canceled at the press conference related to their marriage, in order to ease the burden on her. It is important to have an environment in which they will be able to live their new life quietly.

 

Their marriage has reduced the number of unmarried women in the Imperial family to five. In the future, this is expected to interfere with the official duties shared by Imperial family members. How to deal with the decline in the number of Imperial family members is an urgent task.

 

A government panel of experts formed to discuss the succession to the Imperial throne has made two proposals — the establishment of “female Imperial branches” to allow women to remain in the Imperial family after they marry, and the creation of a system to restore former Imperial members who left the family in the past.

 

The government should draw conclusions as soon as possible regarding the proper composition of the Imperial family, based on the final opinions of the panel.

 

— The original Japanese article appeared in The Yomiuri Shimbun on Oct. 27, 2021.

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