World Factbox: Who are Japan's Princess Mako and her husband, Kei Komuro?
Japan princess overcomes money scandal, PTSD to marry college sweetheart
Japan princess overcomes money scandal, PTSD to marry college sweetheartTOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Princess Mako will marry a commoner in a subdued ritual on Tuesday after a three-year engagement plagued by scandal and media speculation, which has left the 29-year-old niece of the emperor with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
By Elaine Lies
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Princess Mako, the emperor's niece, on Tuesday married her college sweetheart, a commoner named Kei Komuro, by submitting documents to register her marriage, after a long engagement marked by intense media scrutiny and opposition.
The two, both 30, will move to New York, where Komuro works in a law office, although news reports say Mako will stay behind in Tokyo to make preparations, including applying for her first ever passport.
Following are some facts about Mako, who will now be known as Mako Komuro, gaining a surname for the first time in her life, and her new husband.
How Meghan Markle's Royal Exit Echoes Princess Mako of Japan
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's journey out of the royal family is being played out afresh in Japan as Princess Mako signs away her royal status for love.The royal and fiance Kei Komuro will tie the knot after being vilified in the Japanese media to the point Mako was said by the royal household to have experienced PTSD.
Born on October 23, 1991, Mako is the first child of the current emperor's younger brother, Prince Akishino, and his wife, Princess Kiko - who were college sweethearts, like Mako and Komuro.
The birth of the first granddaughter to then-Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko was greeted by intense media coverage despite the fact that she could not, by law, inherit the throne. This included the proud father telling reporters after viewing his newborn daughter: "She's cute. She looks like me."
Mako was followed three years later by her sister Kako, and the two were joined by their brother Hisahito in 2006, the first male born to the imperial family since 1965.
Defying public scorn and media storm, Japan’s princess is finally set to marry her man
When Princess Mako of Japan weds in Tokyo, there will be no lavish ceremony, and none of the rites traditionally associated with Japanese royal weddings. In another first, she is forgoing the lump-sum payment of about $1.3 million that female royals receive after they lose their imperial status by marrying a commoner. The reason: public disapproval of her groom, Kei Komuro, 30, a recent law graduate, because of a financial dispute involving his mother.
Though Mako initially followed royal tradition and attended the elite Gakushuin school through the end of high school, she broke with custom by not continuing at the institution for her university studies, choosing instead to attend Tokyo's International Christian University.
She graduated in 2014 with a degree in art and cultural studies, having spent a year abroad at the University of Edinburgh. She later obtained a master's degree in Art Museum and Gallery studies.
Mako first met Komuro at a meeting of students planning to go abroad in 2012.
Komuro was raised by a single mother, with some media reports saying part of his education was funded by his mother's former fiance.
Princess Mako's Wedding to Commoner Kei Komuro Puts a Spotlight on the Japanese Monarchy's Succession Problem
The princess becomes the latest to lose her royal status, shrinking the potential pool of heirsLocal media reports said Japan’s Imperial Household Agency, which handles the royal family’s affairs, submitted legal paperwork to register the couple’s union on their behalf on Tuesday morning.
At one point, he earned some money by working for tourism promotion near Tokyo.
Trouble erupted a few months after he and Mako announced their engagement in 2017, when tabloids reported a financial dispute between Komuro's mother and her former fiance, with the man claiming mother and son had failed to repay a debt of about $35,000.
Komuro later said the money had been a gift, not a loan. But in 2021, he submitted a 24-page explanation and later reportedly said he would pay a settlement.
In September 2018, he left for studies at New York's Fordham University and didn't return until September this year, after having graduated from law school and started working at a New York law firm. He took the bar exam in July, with results due in December.
When he returned to Japan, he was dressed casually and sporting long hair drawn back in a ponytail, setting off a media frenzy because it was deemed "disrespectful".
But on Tuesday morning, ponytail shorn and dressed in a crisp dark suit and tie, he left to claim his bride. Most of his face was covered with a mask in line with Japan's coronavirus protocol, but he looked happy.
(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)
The ex-princess mako wants to create "a loving family in a peaceful environment" .
The former Princess Mako of Japan and her husband Kei Komuro gave a press conference on Tuesday after their marriage was formalized. © Nicolas Datiche / Pool via Reuters The former Mako princess of Japan and her husband Kei Komuro at the press conference according to their marriage in Tokyo, on October 26, 2021 They each covered an alliance. Sign that they were-fin-husband and woman.