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Princess Mako's official engagement preparations cannot proceed: parents

Prince Akishino and his wife Princess Kiko are seen in this July 31, 2018 file photo. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Prince Akishino and his wife Princess Kiko have informed Kei Komuro, the informal fiance of their daughter Princess Mako, and his mother that preparations for their official engagement ceremony cannot proceed under the current circumstances, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

A factor behind the move is that the fiance's side did not make a public explanation as requested by Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko about weekly magazine reports on "financial trouble" within the Komuro family, according to people familiar with the situation.

The informal engagement of Princess Mako was announced on Sept. 3 of last year, and the couple had planned to marry on Nov. 4 of this year. But the Imperial Household Agency announced on Feb. 6 that the traditional Nosai no Gi, or the official engagement event, planned for March 4, and the November marriage ceremony, would be postponed to 2020.

At that time, Princess Mako and Komuro, both 26, explained through the agency that they didn't have enough time to make sufficient preparations. But people close to the situation suggested that the delay was possibly because of reports by weekly magazines that the Komuro side was in trouble with an acquaintance over money.

Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko made multiple requests to the Komuros to explain about the reports. They asked the Komuros, who said the matter was "not a problem," to hold a press conference on the subject to seek the public's understanding, but their requests have not been fulfilled. Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko intend to respect the wishes of their daughter and her informal fiance, but apparently judged that preparations cannot go ahead for the official engagement ceremony at this juncture.

(Japanese original by Hiroyuki Takashima, City News Department)

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