• Kyodo, Jiji


The government will agree to Princess Mako's request that she not receive a lump sum amount that is usually given to female members of the imperial family upon their departure from the royal household, sources said Saturday.

Amid controversy about a financial dispute involving her boyfriend's mother, the 29-year-old princess, a niece of Emperor Naruhito, has expressed her intent to decline the up to ¥150 million ($1.3 million) payment, the sources said.

Princess Mako and her partner, Kei Komuro, are preparing to register their marriage next month.

If the money is not gifted to Princess Mako, it will be the first time in Japan's postwar history that such a payment has not been made.

Komuro, 29, plans to return from the United States as early as Monday, according to the sources, which will be the first time he has been in Japan since leaving for New York in 2018 to study at Fordham University's law school. He graduated from the school this year.

The couple is expected to start a new life in the United States after their marriage. Under the law, female imperial family members lose their royal status upon marrying a commoner.

The Imperial House Economy Law stipulates that a one-off state allowance will be provided to a member of the imperial family who leaves the family due to reasons including marriage, in order to maintain the dignity of a former member of the family.

The actual amount is decided by the Imperial House Economy Council, which is made up of the prime minister and seven others.

The government has been discussing the matter as no other former imperial family member has refused the payment in the past and there is no legal provision on such a case.

The wedding of the two has been put off for about three years following a string of reports about a dispute Komuro's mother was in with her former fiance over ¥4 million in monetary support, including money spent on Komuro's education.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.