Ceremonies related to the marriage of Princess Mako to Kei Komuro are being postponed, the Imperial Household Agency announced Tuesday, only about a month before their Nosai no Gi engagement ceremony was to take place. The agency released a statement by the couple, who are both 26, explaining they “have not had enough time to prepare for the various ceremonies and life after the wedding.”
Such a major change to the schedule of an Imperial wedding, which has already been formally announced, is highly unusual. A senior agency official said the situation was “difficult to explain.”
“I believe we have rushed various things,” the princess, the oldest daughter of Prince Akishino, said in the statement.
Referring to the couple’s plans for engagement being revealed by the media last May, the statement said the “unexpected timing had caused confusion.”
Although the couple should have carefully considered whether the speed of events suited them, they had not prepared properly, the statement said.
“We only regret that our immaturity has caused this,” the statement said.
The statement was announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon by Takaharu Kachi, supervisor of the Imperial princes’ household affairs.
In addition to the lack of time for preparations, Kachi said the postponement was also related to the succession ceremonies that will accompany the Emperor’s planned abdication next year.
When asked about the process, such as what preparations were needed and whether the agency had failed to advise the couple, Kachi only said, “It’s difficult to explain,” “Refer to the statement,” and, “I can’t comment on the specifics.”
Since late last year, weekly magazines have reported on financial problems involving Komuro’s family. Kachi, however, denied that these reports had anything to do with the postponement. The couple’s “intention to wed has not changed,” he stressed.
Princess Mako returned by car to the Akasaka Estate in Minato Ward, Tokyo, at 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday. Dressed in black and with an austere expression on her face, she did not look at reporters who had gathered near the gate.
About 10 minutes later, Komuro appeared in front of the building in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, that houses the law firm where he works. Also looking stern, he did not respond to questions from the media, leaving the scene quickly with a deep bow. He arrived at his condominium in Kohoku Ward, Yokohama, at about 7:35 p.m. After bowing to the media, he went inside without speaking.
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