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A new life in New York for Japanese ex-Princess Mako and her husband – rts.ch

Former Japanese princess Mako, stripped of her imperial title following her late October marriage to commoner Kei Komuro, arrived with him in New York on Sunday, where the couple plan to settle.

Images broadcast by Japanese television channels show the spouses crossing the New York airport under good escort and boarding a vehicle. They had left Japan without saying a word to the many journalists present for the occasion.

Mako and Kei Komuro, both 30 years old, got married at the end of October in Tokyo, without the sumptuous imperial rites and also renouncing a financial compensation from the State normally granted to women leaving the imperial household: a unique case in post-war Japanese history.

From the birth of a scandal…

Mako has endured years of criticism over her wedding plans, due to allegations that Kei Komuro’s mother borrowed money from a former fiancé and failed to repay it.

This quarrel, which is still not settled, has caused a scandal in Japan, where irreproachable behavior is expected of members of the imperial family and their associates.

The Emperor of Japan no longer has any political role since the post-war period but remains an important symbolic figure of the nation. Faced with the controversy, the young couple had postponed their wedding and Kei Komuro had left in 2018 for the United States to continue his law studies.

… to media pressure

Mako has suffered from post-traumatic stress due to media pressure surrounding his wedding plans, the Imperial Household Agency recently revealed.

After her marriage, Mako told a press conference that she felt “fear, sadness and pain” because of the allegations in the media about her and Kei Komuro’s family, which she called “unfounded rumours”. .

The media pressure continued after their marriage, with the Japanese media then dwelling on the fact that Kei Komuro failed the entrance exam to the New York bar. He obtained a law degree in the United States this year and currently works in a law firm in New York.

Unchanging traditions

Mako, meanwhile, studied art and cultural heritage at the International Christian University in Tokyo, where she had met her future husband, and spent a year at the University of Edinburgh. She also holds an MA in Museum Studies from the UK University of Leicester.

In Japan, the imperial throne can only be passed on to men. Moreover, women of the imperial house who married commoners lost their titles and their descendants were also excluded from the imperial family.

This summer, a group of experts proposed that the women of the imperial family could remain within it after their marriage. However, any reform of the system is likely to be long in coming in the face of the strong reluctance of traditionalists in Japan.


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