Japan's Princess Mako calls off wedding with commoner

3 2017 shows Princess Mako, the eldest daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko and her fiancee Kei Komuro, smiling during a press conference to announce their engagement at the Akasaka East Residence in T

3 2017 shows Princess Mako, the eldest daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko and her fiancee Kei Komuro, smiling during a press conference to announce their engagement at the Akasaka East Residence in T

"We have come to realise that we do not have enough time to prepare for the ceremonies and our new life before the wedding planned in autumn", she said in a statement released through the imperial household agency Wednesday. "Time can be used to further strengthen their bonds".

The princess and Komuro had planned to become formally engaged on March 4 in a traditional court ceremony called Nosai no Gi.

The 84-year-old Akihito is set to abdicate April 30 next year, with Crown Prince Naruhito, his eldest son (and Mako's uncle) succeeding the Chrysanthemum throne the next day.

Over time, she said she learned he is "a honest, strong-minded, hard worker, and he has a big heart", Mako said.

"I wish to think about marriage more deeply and concretely and give sufficient time to prepare our marriage and for after the marriage", Mako said.

Mako and fiance Kei Komuro, both 25, said at a news conference that their relationship started when the princess sat behind him at a campus meeting five years ago at Tokyo's International Christian University, where they graduated.

Following the announcement of the postponement, Princess Mako and Komuro remained silent on Tuesday evening, not responding to questions posed by media, who gathered in front of the Akasaka Estate, residence of the princess, and around the building of the law firm Komuro works for in the capital.


The wedding of Japan's Princess Mako has been postponed for two years because of a lack of preparation, the Imperial Palace has said.

The princess had told her grandparents, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, about the postponement, who are said to have shown respect for her decision. "We believe we have rushed various things". The row reportedly centred on money his mother borrowed to cover her son's tuition fees and allegedly never paid back.

"We feel extremely sorry for causing great trouble and further burden to those who have willingly supported us".

The couple announced their engagement in September 2017 and with it, Mako's choice to renounce her status as a member of the imperial family.

"Having a family still goes beyond my imagination, but I hope to make one that is warm, comfortable and filled with smiles", Mako said.

The imperial household agency insisted the couple still want to Wednesday and flatly denied any connection between the postponement and a series of recent magazine articles about the alleged money trouble of the Komuro family. She claims the funds were given as a gift from her then-boyfriend.

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