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Crown Prince Akishino, the younger brother of Emperor Naruhito, has said he “approves” of his daughter Princess Mako marrying her university boyfriend, Kei Komuro, but reiterated that Komuro’s mother must first solve an ongoing financial dispute.

Royal delay: Princess Mako and her boyfriend, Kei Komuro, say the date of their wedding is still undecided.  | KYODO
Royal delay: Princess Mako and her boyfriend, Kei Komuro, say the date of their wedding is still undecided. | KYODO

“I mean, I approve of them getting married. The Constitution says marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes. If that is what they really want, then I think that is something I need to respect as a parent,” the crown prince told a news conference in Tokyo held ahead of his 55th birthday on Monday.

In a statement issued earlier this month, Princess Mako, 29, expressed strong resolve to go ahead with her marriage, which was originally scheduled in 2018 but pushed back following reports of a dispute between Komuro’s mother and her former fiance over money, including educational expenses for her son that the man shouldered.

At the time, the Imperial Household Agency quoted the crown prince and his wife, Crown Princess Kiko, as saying they “respect” the couple’s feelings.

His latest comments came as the prince was responding to reporters who asked him at the news conference to elaborate on what he meant. However, he also said no schedule has been set for his daughter’s wedding, maintaining his view that the Komuros must resolve the outstanding money issue.

Princess Mako and Komuro, 29, announced their plan to get engaged in September 2017. The agency said their wedding would take place in November 2018, but in February that year it announced that their marriage would be put off until 2020.

Princess Mako has said the couple considers marriage to be a “necessary choice” for them, but added that they “acknowledge that some people are negative” about it.

Article first published in The Japan Times on Nov. 30.

Warm up

One minute chat about marriage.

Game

Collect words related to prince, e.g., crown, princess, imperial family

New words

1) reiterate: to say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity, e.g., “The students looked confused, so the professor reiterated his theory.”

2) dispute: a disagreement or argument; conflict, e.g., “There have been few disputes over wearing masks in Japan.”

3) elaborate: to develop or present in further detail, e.g., “He was asked to elaborate on his research proposal.”

Guess the headline

Prince ‘a_ _ _ _ _ _s’ of daughter’s marriage plan but f_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ issue must be resolved

Questions

1) Why did Crown Prince Akishino approve the marriage?

2) What does Crown Prince Akishino require before his daughter marries?

3) What did Princess Mako say about her marriage?

Let’s discuss the article

1) What do you think about the engagement?

2) What do you think about the current imperial system?

3) Do you think Princess Mako’s impending marriage will impact or change the imperial system in any way?

Reference

国民の関心を集めながら数年間にわたり立ち往生状態であった婚約に動きがありました。結婚時期など未定事項も多いながら、この婚約は皇室内外にとって大きな出来事となったことでしょう。皇族の減少とともに新しい皇族のあり方の議論が政府内で持ち上がることもあるなか、2人の結婚は日本の皇室のありかたに影響を与えるものになるのでしょうか。朝英語の会に参加し皆さんで話し合ってみましょう。

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