National

Imperial Couple distressed by speculation about delay in Princess Mako’s marriage

JIJI, Kyodo

The Imperial Household Agency said Friday that Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are distressed over speculation in magazines about their thoughts regarding Princess Mako’s planned marriage.

In February, the agency announced that her marriage with former classmate Kei Komuro had been delayed. A weekly magazine has reported that the Empress had made remarks about the marriage.

In a statement on its website, the agency said both the Emperor and Empress have stayed silent on the matter, wishing to respect the feelings of the 26-year-old princess, who is their granddaughter and eldest daughter of Prince Akishino.

The Empress is “surprised and sad” that the peace and calm of the prince’s family has not been maintained, according to the statement.

The Emperor is also very grieved, the agency said.

Since last December, weekly magazines have repeatedly reported about the financial problems faced by Komuro’s mother.

The weekly magazine Shukan Josei reported in December that Komuro’s mother had borrowed more than ¥4 million from her former partner and hadn’t returned it yet. The report suggested she had used the money for living expenses and to cover her son’s tuition and expenses for studying abroad.