Princess Mako, the granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, and Kei Komuro still plan to tie the knot, a high-ranking official of the Imperial Household Agency said following the announcement that their marriage will be postponed.
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With regard to the reason for the deferment, Takaharu Kachi, supervisor of the Imperial Princes' Household Affairs at the agency, explained that it will take some time to prepare for their life after marriage.
"They felt that they do not have enough time as they prepare their marriage. After consulting with various people, they've come to the conclusion that they should postpone their marriage," Kachi said.
As to the timing, Kachi told reporters, "I made the announcement immediately after they made their decision."
The official did not specifically elaborate on what kinds of preparations are being delayed.
The agency's announcement on the postponement of the marriage between Princess Mako, 26, the eldest daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and Komuro, 26, a legal firm employee, came about one month before the "Nosai-no-gi" betrothal ceremony was to be held.
Kachi categorically denied that the postponement has anything to do with weekly magazines' reports since late last year that Komuro's mother has trouble with a male acquaintance over money.
The magazines claim that Komuro's mother has failed to repay 4 million yen she borrowed from the acquaintance. The weeklies say the money was provided to Komuro's mother when Komuro was a university student, adding that the money was used for Komuro's entrance to International Christian University as well as his studies overseas.
Kachi neither confirmed nor denied these reports. "Since it's an internal affair within the Komuro family, I'd like to decline to comment on the matter," he said.
In the past, the schedules for Imperial Family members' marriages were changed due mostly to natural disasters.
The informal confirmation of the engagement of Sayako Kuroda, the daughter of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, had originally been scheduled to be announced in November 2004. However, it was postponed twice until late December of that year, due to the October 2004 Chuetsu Earthquake in Niigata Prefecture and the demise of Princess Kikuko, the wife of Prince Takamatsu, earlier in December of the same year.
The announcement of the informal confirmation of Princess Mako's engagement was also postponed by two months due to torrential rain that hit northern Kyushu.