• Kyodo


People wished Princess Mako well after she finally married her university sweetheart, Kei Komuro, following a yearslong postponement and public discontent over a financial dispute involving Komuro's mother.

About 100 members of the media as well as a group of well-wishers gathered in front of the imperial residence in the Akasaka Estate, hoping to catch a glimpse of the princess leaving after the couple's marriage was registered.

The niece of Emperor Naruhito forfeited her imperial status upon marrying a commoner and became Mako Komuro under her husband's family registry.

"Now that she can finally live together with the person she loves, I want her to enjoy her own life without any restrictions," said Maki Sato, a 50-year-old nurse who came from Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture, to see Mako at the residence. "I want the couple to overcome any hardships together," she added.

Mako is expected to move to New York, where Komuro works at a law firm.

Hours before the couple was scheduled to hold a news conference at a Tokyo hotel, police officers were on high alert and conducted traffic patrols to ward off any disruption or protest.

When Mako arrived at the hotel in a car, she opened the window and waved at those gathered as they shouted congratulations to her from the roadside.

Yoko Endo, 50, from Yokohama, said she was "happy for Princess Mako even though I couldn't see her with a beautiful ancient hairstyle," referring to the lack of pomp usually seen in the traditional ceremonies associated with a royal marriage.

Under normal circumstances, royal brides wear a kimono and tie their hair in an ancient style reserved for noblewomen, but such rites were skipped in light of public outcry surrounding the financial dispute between Komuro's mother and her former fiance.

"I want Mr. Komuro to really support her," Endo said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno also congratulated the newlyweds at a news conference Tuesday.

"I would like to extend my very best wishes for many more years of happiness and greater prosperity to the imperial family," he said.

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