National | Princess Ayako's wedding

Devotion amid global background

Kyodo

Kei Moriya, Princess Ayako’s husband-to-be, is known as a dedicated and trusted man with rich international experience.

The 32-year-old employee at major Japanese shipping firm Nippon Yusen K.K. is also a board member of Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (Children Without Borders), a nonprofit organization where his late mother worked as an executive board member that is dedicated to supporting children in developing countries.

The only child of his father Osamu, a 63-year-old former bureaucrat, and mother Kimie, Moriya attended kindergarten in Paris and studied at an international school in Geneva from April 2000 to November 2001. His parents were long-term friends of the princess’ mother, Princess Hisako.

While majoring in social science at the Faculty of Letters at Keio University in Tokyo, he studied for a short period at Oxford University in Britain.

Princess Ayako at her graduation from Josai International University in Togane, Chiba Prefecture in March 2013.
Princess Ayako at her graduation from Josai International University in Togane, Chiba Prefecture in March 2013. | KYODO

At work, Moriya is in charge of the company’s wood chip transport contracts. One of his colleagues described him as a “smart and competent” person who has gained great trust from business clients.

In an in-house magazine introducing new employees in 2009, Moriya, who entered Nippon Yusen that year, said he hopes to become a businessperson “who would always strive to do better without becoming complacent about current situations.”

“He is fluent in English and is known as a very skillful man,” another colleague said. “I believe he will be an diligent and good husband.”

Moriya’s late grandfather Kaneyoshi once worked as an executive of the company and was posted for a long time in Britain, where he had exchanges with Crown Prince Naruhito, who also studied at Oxford University.

Princess Ayako and Kei Moriya at a press conference for their engagement in August.
Princess Ayako and Kei Moriya at a press conference for their engagement in August. | KYODO

The groom’s hobbies include skiing, marathons and competing in Ironman triathlons. His father previously worked for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and is currently the president of Brazil-Japan Ethanol Co. Ltd. His mother Kimie fell ill during a business trip to Cambodia before passing away in 2015 in Bangkok at age 56. Moriya, who was in Thailand on business at the time, was able to be at her side when she died.


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